Advertisement, preface and introduction
[The advertisement functions as a preface]
It is common in literature to tacitly presume a standard secular or non-secular (transsecular) worldview. However, this work in part about a rational metaphysical system that most readers will find radical.
This work is about a view of the universe and its implications for knowledge—and the endeavor and destiny of Being. The work is not a recapitulation of received knowledge.
The view centers on a perfect metaphysics whose central principle is that the universe as the realization of all logical possibility. This principle is named the fundamental principle of metaphysics.
The fundamental principle and the perfect metaphysics are demonstrated and therefore must be consistent with what is valid in experience, tradition, and culture through the present day.
The perfect metaphysics entails that the universe and its identity attains variety and peaks of Being without limit—and that individual beings merge with the peaks.
There are implications for all major disciplines and activities of human significance.
The radical nature of the view entails issues of understanding. Readers will need to revise their metaphysical frameworks, secular or other, reeducate their intuitions, and follow the definitions in the work—especially where they may feel that they are familiar with the concepts.
Living well in this world and the ultimate
The prologue provides further informal information on the publication and the content with some preliminary material.
The Way begins as personal search for the ultimate in the immediate and the universe.
Some sources are (1) reason including knowledge, value and feeling, experience, and action, (2) tradition and culture and analysis of what is valid and useful in them, (3) engagement in the world—nature, society, psyche, universe of Being.
‘Tradition and culture’ refers to what is found or known valid in them—all cultures through time. Three kinds of society and culture are primal, secular, and trans-secular. The secular emphasizes the world of direct experience; the sciences* are the main paradigm of knowledge; the arts speak to the human and human aspirations. The trans-secular further emphasizes a world beyond the secular—e.g., a world of the super-natural or spirit; religion is a main paradigm. The modern is an amalgam of the secular and trans-secular.
* The concrete sciences are the natural including psychology, and the social. The abstract include formal linguistics, logic, mathematics, and computer science. The general are metaphysics as the study of the real, which includes the study of reason (and therefore of epistemology).
The essential limit of the standard versions are that the universe is modeled after the paradigms. The default if tacit secular view is that the universe revealed by science is essentially the universe; the image reflects what is known and then the image is allowed to define the real. The default view of religion is dogma, a metaphor or allegory taken literally; it allows the limitless incompleteness of the secular and then stunts and distorts it. Though the primal is often defined in terms of magic—totem and taboo, it being in contact with the real it is ahead of the modern.
How can we break out of the limits of the modern? First, define the limitations so as to overcome them: the universe may be limitlessly greater than the secular; the religious is a distortion of that limitlessness. Second, ask how we may see this possibly limitless universe. We must seek conceptual models of a limitless universe, see how they must be limited by what we know as valid (empirically, rationally) and attempt to find what part of the thus constrained model is true—by imagination and demonstration.
This is what I found crucial to the endeavor. (1) Since the common paradigms are limited, appeal to the idea of ‘Being’ as simply that of which it may be said “it is” (somewhere and somewhen), for this neither imposes nor denies the paradigms and so opens to what is valid in them and beyond. Further, understand the ‘universe’ as all Being everywhere and everywhen. The point to these concepts is that they be conceived such that they are free of the standard paradigmatic limitations while still being capable of satisfying reason, i.e. empirical and rational constraints. (2) To understand our concepts carefully, use careful notions of concept as referential object, the term object generally as referred object, sign as simple or compound, symbol as sign-concept, and (linguistic) meaning as symbol-object. That is, a careful notion of meaning is critical—and it is one that is set up so as to avoid paradoxes arising from dangling reference and confusion of word, concept, and/or object. (3) Item 1 ‘leverages’ study of the universe without prejudice (metaphysics), and item 2 leverages sufficiency and consistency in that study (metaphysics of universe and Being).
The outcome is a perfect universal metaphysics—the universe is the realization of all possibility with two clarifications. The first is that ‘possibility’ is to be the most liberal kind of possibility that does not allow contradiction—this is logical possibility. The second is that the possible cannot alter or contradict what actual, i.e. what obtains. If we append given fact to logic and name the result Logic then the universal metaphysics is that the universe is the Logically possible. The italicized phrase is named the fundamental principle of metaphysics.