THE WAY OF BEING

Outline Version of 2018 – 2019

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Anil Mitra © May 2018—February 2019

Updated Monday February 11, 2019 @ 08:09:28

MAIN DIVISIONS

NOTATION

INTRODUCTION

WORLDVIEW

THE WAY

RESOURCES

INDEX

 

CONTENTS WITH OVERVIEW

In the overview headings are blue and content is black,

The following remarks may be included if the table reverted to Main and Academic styles linked as level 5 content.

In the overview headings are blue, main content is black and secondary content is indigo, .

1.     General readers interested are in the new picture and way. They may prefer to read only the main content.

2.     Readers interested in conceptual development will read main content but secondary content only from the division on the Worldview.

3.     Readers interested in realization will read main content but secondary content only from the division on The Path.

NOTATION

INTRODUCTION

The questions “What shall we do?” and “What is the greatest we can do?” often arise for society and individuals.

This essay arose in part as my attempt to answer the questions. It is written especially for those interested in the questions.

An encompassing approach to the question may include knowledge, sharing, and action.

It is especially encompassing for knowledge is not just direct knowledge of the world but also of epistemology (knowledge of knowledge and its disciplines and methods). It therefore includes language, art, technology, history, and religion.

Sharing implicates all civilization … and action is engagement of individual and civilization with the present and the entire future: it includes the processes of knowledge and technology.

This essay describes the outcome of my inquiries and some aspects of the process that led to and emerged from “What shall we do?”

Concepts in the introduction

About the introduction

The Way and its worldview

The Way of Being is discovery and realization of the ultimate from the immediate.

A core of the worldview or metaphysics of the essay is a demonstrated fundamental principle of metaphysics (FP) that the universe is limitless in that it is the realization of (all) possibility.

It is seen that the universe has identity; that limited worlds and beings merge with the universe and its identity as the limitless; that engaging in realization is an ever fresh adventure of endless wonder.

The worth of the worldview includes (i) the ideal—that in revealing the ultimate it gives meaning to the immediate being of all beings, (ii) the real—it is a problem of the worldview, addressed in this essay, to find feasible ways to the ultimate from and even in the immediate, and (iii) a guarantee—that feasible ways will be found for limited beings.

The engagement is reassuring if wonder is affirmed and pain (and suffering) adequately addressed to the best of a society’s ability, and accepted an attitude that minimizes the psychologically destructive aspect of pain. As stated later, Nirvana is being in realization even in and using pain.

A characteristic of human and other sapient beings is that they can discover the nature of their own and universal Being sufficiently to engage in realization intelligently.

Means and vehicles

Sources

The sources for The Way are knowledge, understanding, learning, action and exploration.

Received paradigms

The received paradigms are primal, secular, and transsecular.

The secular paradigms center on the experienced—the empirical—especially, science.

That the universe (Being) should be conceptually limitless is consistent with science and reason.

The transsecular paradigms attempt to go beyond but are almost invariably limiting via dogma or positing truth.

Yet since the empirical is not the limit of the universe, there is a role for open or non-dogmatic trans-empirical and imaginative but rational accounts of the universe.

Structure of the essay

The next main division—the first of the two main divisions—‘Worldview’, establishes the metaphysics of the essay. That leads into the second main division, ‘The way’ which develops Paths and ends with thoughts toward ‘The future’. The remaining ‘Resources’ and the Index provide closure and support.

Reading the essay

To understand the ultimate worldview

Suggestions for readers

WORLDVIEW

Concepts

Introduction to this division

The introduction to the essay motivated the development with the question “What shall we do?

This division begins with elements of our presence in the world.

Givens

The givens

Sameness and difference are primitives.

Constructs

Extension is sameness and difference or their absence.

Identity is the sense of sameness of object or person.

Being

Existence, beings, and Being

To exist is to be validly describable by some form of the verb to be.

Thus existence is location in extension.

An existent or being is that which exists.

Existence or Being is the property of all beings and only of beings.

The hypothetical being that affects no being does not exist.

Power—the measure of Being

Power is giving or receiving effect.

Power is the measure of BeingBeing is the measure of Being.

Nonexistent Being

Why Being?

As an instrument to depict the real, the force of the concept of Being lies in its neutrality, its definiteness, and in that it need not refer beyond itself for foundation.

The system of concepts of The Way inherits and enhances this force.

About Being vs beings

In the concrete, Being is not a being. With sufficient abstraction, Being is a being.

Meaning

Introduction to meaning and experience

Experience

Experience is subjective awareness or consciousness.

Experience has Being.

Experience is a form of power.

Experience as a measure of Being

Inseparability of world, experience, and Being

Being and experience are interwoven as one.

Meaning and possibility of objectivity

A standard secular worldview

World as field of experience

Power and experience

Thus experience is a form of power and power is a primal form of experience.

Meaning

Meaning is a system of experience and its actual and possible objects.

Experience is the place of meaning and Being

Experience is the place of meaning—i.e. of conceptual and existential meaning.

Experience is the place of Being.

Why experience? Experience vs Being

Natural law and Logic

Fact and logic

Perception gives rise to facts.

A first notion of logic is that of the means or tools of inference: given some facts (‘premises’), further facts (‘conclusions’) may be inferred. Inferences may be certain or less than certain.

Patterns, natural laws, and theories

A law of nature is a reading of a natural pattern.

The natural laws are in Being and have Being.

Two ways in which hypotheses may be true

A hypothesis may be incorrect or inconsistent, (i) if it is inconsistent in—‘disagrees’ with—itself and (ii) if it disagrees with fact—i.e. if it is empirically inconsistent.

Consistency, logical and factual

The first case above leads to a concept of logic as what must be satisfied by a concept or hypothesis to be realizable in some world. The second is empirical or factual consistency—a requirement that the concepts be realized in the world.

Is logic truly not of the world?

Argument or Logic

The two—logic and factual consistency—combine in what is sometimes called argument.

Rather than to use the common term ‘argument’ we may combine the two kinds of consistency under the uncommon but meaningful and more inclusive alternative ‘Logic’.

Science, mathematics and logic

In summary of the section, (1) the sciences are abstract and concrete, (2) both are about the world, (3) this is essentially why they are distinct yet connected, (4) their methods are similar, yet, since access to the real-abstract is limited, appeal for the abstract is made to intuition while ‘testing’ relies more on conceptual consistency (logic) than empirical consistency.

The origin or ‘ground’ of Logic

Determinism, indeterminism, and Logic

Does our cosmos determine the universe?

Free will

The universe

The universe is all Being (or all beings).

There is precisely one universe.

Cause and creation

The universe has no cause in the classical sense of cause by another being or aspect of Being (existence).

Is existence of the universe necessary?

What would a satisfactory explanation of existence be?

A satisfactory explanation of existence implies existence of all possible worlds

But this is not a demonstration of existence of all possible worlds

The void and its existence

The void

The void is the null being.

Since laws have Being the void has no laws.

The existence of the void is not clearly given.

‘Something from nothing’

Existence of the void

However, the void exists by itself as the nonmanifest universe; and when the universe is manifest, it exists alongside the universe as its complement.

Heuristic argument

A heuristic ‘proof’ of existence of the void—existence and nonexistence of the void are equivalent.

The void is eternal

The void exists ‘eternally’.

There is exactly one void

Possibility

A conceived state is possible if it is realized in some world.

Real and logical possibility

Two kinds of possibility are the logical and the real. These two kinds arise from the two ways in which a conceived state may fail to correspond to the real. A conceived state has logical possibility if its negation cannot be realized in any world. Real possibility is that which obtains in at least one world. In western thought a standard set of kinds, from experience in our cosmos, are natural, social (and of civilization), and perhaps the universal—which includes the unknown.

The possible and the actual

Some kinds of real possibility

Real possibility is universal or local, e.g. for the empirical cosmos. The latter includes the natural, the social, and—depending on worldview—the supernatural.

Sentient possibility, is that which sentient organisms may attain in their Being, thought, and realized designs.

Is realization of all possibility paradoxical?

The fundamental principle

Preliminary—metaphysics has already begun

Metaphysics is knowledge of the real.

The fundamental principle

For the universe, i.e. All Being, the possible and the real are identical.

(In the following, where ‘logically’ occurs in brackets, it is a recognition of the fact that logic may be unimportant to the general reader.)

A (logically) possible state not realized would be a law of the void—but since it has no laws, all (logically) possible are realized from the void.

Hence the fundamental principle of metaphysics, abbreviated the fundamental principle or FP

The universe is the realization of all (logically) possible states.

The principle is consistent with experience and reason

The fundamental principle as universal law and existential principle

Metaphysics

A potent but abstract metaphysics

About proof

Reason

A new fundamental question of metaphysics

Metaphysics is logic

What Logic is

Principle of sufficient reason

Necessity is the ultimate and first causeless cause of the universe.

The void is not the quantum vacuum

All beings realize the ultimate

All beings realize the ultimate.

Given a realization there is a greater sentient realization.

Abstract and concrete objects made transparent

It is in the nature of Being to be experienced

From the abstract to the real—How to realize the ultimate

The metaphysics so far is abstract. When joined with (what is valid in) tradition, there results a system that constitutes a whole (‘the perfect metaphysics’) and is the perfect (in the sense of best possible) instrument of universal knowledge and realization.

The metaphysics so far constitutes an abstract system in that while it has been demonstrated it has not been shown how we may connect to it. Let us develop a connection—a way to connect.

The connection begins by recognizing a concrete side as a complement to the abstract. The concrete is common experience, exploration, and human cultures, regarded as pragmatic. What is valid in it is named tradition.

These two sides, the abstract metaphysics developed so far and tradition as pragmatic, constitute a pragmatic yet perfect metaphysics that illuminates understanding and realization of the ultimate. They constitute a whole—e.g., of Being in process or becoming.

A perfect metaphysics and epistemology

The whole is a perfect metaphysics—a perfect dual metaphysics with perfection of capture (correspondence) on the abstract side and sufficient and therefore perfect pragmatic capture on the concrete side—and is thus inclusive of a perfect dual epistemology. This system will be called the perfect metaphysics, abbreviated PFM—or the metaphysics, abbreviated TM.

Metaphysics of realization

The topic of this section begins as ‘how to realize the ultimate’.

We might begin by considering our science. However, the scope of our science is entirely inadequate and its object as the ‘material’ world is misplaced. For (1)the scope of the appropriate ‘discipline’ must be the entire universe and (2) its object must be Being which, we have seen, is effectively and therefore essentially the universal field of experience (FOE) and its realizations.

Therefore a ‘science’ of being would be a metaphysics of consciousness and experience.

It is now apparent that we realize the ultimate. However our question, if we choose to actively engage in realization, is how and in what form this realization may be undertaken. The form is consciousness-experience. The how is the perfect metaphysics.

A science and technology of Being and advanced civilization would seek embodiment of our consciousness in such a way as to propagate out into the universe.

The thread of the concept of  experience thus far can be stated with enhancements of reason. Let us begin by considering the case of strict substance:

1.      On the strict substance view, essential materialism—the view that matter and only matter is the substance of the universe—is impossible. Therefore SSV is impossible.

2.      Clearly FOE and therefore ESSV are possible interpretations of the world (where the field of experience has features that one may count as material—provided that the material is not essentially non-material). Clearly FOE and ESSV are strong and effective interpretations.

3.      On the perfect metaphysics, the world is not a substance world—the void or any state can be seen as a base state.

4.      There are effectively material worlds.

5.      The essence of the universe, however, is essentially and effectively sentient. This is the interpretation that is consistent with our experience and under which the universe has its greatest realizations as necessitated by PFM.

6.      The foregoing allows effectively material worlds. However, can we say it allows experiential worlds that are disembodied or devoid of body? What we can say is that FOE worlds have form and form has an aspect of matter or body. Therefore, if the claim that there are experiential worlds devoid of body, it is only on an unnecessarily narrow meaning of ‘matter’ or ‘body’.

Cosmology

Cosmology is study of kinds, varieties, and extension of Being. General cosmology is cosmology without further specification.

Cosmology vs metaphysics

General cosmology

The general cosmology is the fundamental principle—all forms are realized.

The universe has identity; its form and identity have no limits in emergence, extension, variety of beings, kinds of being including cosmos and law, peak and dissolution and magnitude of peak, and value; the cosmoses are limitless in number, magnitude, and variety, including physical law and sentient kind; and are in eternal mergence and emergence with the void and one another. That is, the only limits on concepts for realization are those of logic. The individual inherits this power. In the formulation of Advaita Vedanta, Atman or the individual self is identical to Brahman or the identity of the universe as its ultimate identity. Whatever may be divine or deity, it is not other than Being, e.g. our being.

The metaphysics implies that there are paths to the ultimate.

Cosmology of form and formation

Space, time, and world

THE WAY

Concepts

Plan for the division

This division presents a generic and adaptable approach to realization in two parts.

The preliminary sections—‘Aim of Being’ through ‘Blocks and realization’—constitute reasoning and reasons that ground the approach.

The preliminary sections are conveniently summarized in a section ‘Summary—realization integrated’.

The final section ‘Path’ presents two adaptable templates to realization.

Thus the approach is adaptable to a range of situations (a) by its generic nature and (b) in giving a foundation for the approach.

This practical foundation has an ultimate nature in that it derives from the perfect metaphysics.

Aim of Being

Means (general)

Reason

Intuition (and reason)

Tradition

Some particular means

Intrinsic

Instrumental

Meditation and intuition

Blocks and resolution

Summary—realization integrated

It is given that all beings realize peaks. The sentient-sapient being knows this and is therefore capable of engaging in and enjoying the process.

The Aim of Being is realization of the ultimate (from the immediate); it begins with living ethically (i.e., well and enjoyably) in the immediate which it continues into the ultimate.

The general means are shared reflexive reason (with imagination and experience—and for which criticism is essential, intuition, and tradition). If reason is to be grounded, it should begin in the present, and reflexively employ all abilities and processes.

Means and process are intrinsic—of Being—and instrumental—of the world. These are not two but one—woven together in moving from the immediate to the ultimate; they straddle the immediate and the ultimate. Sources for the means are tradition and reflexive reason (including action). If we relinquish its traditional context and connotations, the means may be named Yoga—the bridging of the immediate and the ultimate. The term ‘yoga-meditation’ is considered so as to emphasize the integration of the intrinsic and the instrumental.

The way to the ultimate is via shared discovery (ideas) and realization (resources)—and it is in sharing, ideas (psyche), and action that blocks arise.

It is critical to effective realization that process and resources be reasonably balanced (‘optimally allocated’) between resolving blocks and the way.

Nirvana is not pure bliss but seeking realization even in adversity, dual with overcoming adversity as part of realization. It is integration of overcoming as part of the process of realization.

Path

The path is presented as two templates—an everyday and a universal template that constitute a program of realization. The templates are adaptable to individuals, groups, and situations.

Everyday template

Here is a brief adaptable everyday template for home and world. An outline precedes the template.

The outline

1.      Rise before the sun—dedication to The Way; affirmation of the aim.

2.      Review-meditate—reflect—on realization, priorities, and means.

3.      Realization—work; relationships; ideas and action—yoga-meditation in action.

4.      Tasks—daily, long term. Meals.

5.      Experimental yoga—with meditation—in nature. Posture.

6.      Exerciseaerobic—in nature—photography—explore.

7.      Evening—rest—renewal—planning and review—realization—community.

The template

Universal template

Here is a brief adaptable universal template—it meshes with the everyday template. An outline precedes the template.

The outline

         Action          Dimension—Detail

1.      Being           Pure Being, community—Everyday process

2.      Ideas            Relation, knowing—Reason; art

3.      Becoming     Nature with psyche—Nature as ground: Beyul

4.      Becoming     Civilization and society—Shared immersion

5.      Becoming     Artifact—Artifactual Being as Being (realized) and as adjunct

6.      Becoming     Universal, unknown—Transformation aimed at the universal

7.      Being           Universal—Being in the universal.

The template

Development of The Way

The future

Concepts

What is given and what remains

What is given is an ultimate vision of the universe and path of realization with templates.

What remains is to live and improve the vision and The Way.

RESOURCES

Introduction

The resources are generally for development of the way and for readers. Readers may find the starred sections especially useful.

Purpose of these resources

Source; plan; updating

General reading and experience*

Related web resources

The Way of Being Website*

For the path templates*

For The Way*

The concepts

Some topics amplified in the resources

Current versions of the essay

Planning the essay

General

The outline version

Remaining work for this version

Previews—pathways

Plan for print and published versions

INDEX

 

THE WAY OF BEING

NOTATION

Formatting in the text differs from that of the overview. Main and general content is formatted black—for essential content, read only this. Definitions and main occurrences of terms are bold.

Dark red text readers interested in the concepts.

Red text is for readers interested in interested in realization.

Secondary text is indigo and in a smaller font (definitions are bold). Secondary text may be indented for ease of reading.

INTRODUCTION

This is an informal introduction to The Way of Being and the essay. Formal development and definitions begin with the Worldview, p. 29.

In an early phase of my development, I focused on knowledge and its relation to living. This led to explicit and careful consideration of the question “What shall I do with my life?” and then “What is the greatest I can do and be?”

The questions “What shall we do?” and “What is the greatest we can do?” often arise for society and individuals.

Those questions can encompass the small and the large, the everyday and the historical, the particular and the general, the ordinary and the ultimate.

It is a common approach to the questions to allow events to flow as they may.

This essay arose in part as my attempt to answer the questions. It is written especially for those interested in the questions.

When we choose to address the question, how may we answer it seriously? When we are plunged into events we do what we can (as Heidegger wrote, we are “thrown” into life under conditions not of our initial choosing). However, there are times when may also reflect upon to what extent and in what manner it is possible and best to influence events and destiny.

An encompassing approach to the question may include knowledge, sharing, and action.

It is especially encompassing for knowledge is not just direct knowledge of the world but also of epistemology (knowledge of knowledge and its disciplines and methods). It therefore includes language, art, technology, history, and religion.

Sharing implicates all civilization … and action is engagement of individual and civilization with the present and the entire future: it includes the processes of knowledge and technology.

The disciplines above suggest an outline of human knowledge; for a comprehensive outline based in the metaphysics developed in the essay, see the link entitled “system of human knowledge and action in the Resources, p.72.

Society and culture present a picture of the world and ways in which individuals may live lives of fulfillment in the world.

Most individuals begin with unselfconsciously absorbing the pictures and ways of their culture. But part of culture is its own means of advance which includes imagination and criticism (we find that culture is a—perhaps necessary—mix of open and conservative attitudes toward its canon). So, from a combination of culture and curiosity it is natural in development to question one’s culture.

Some, from drive and greater curiosity and ability, may come to deeply and persistently question the particular ways of their culture. The value of this includes process and progress.

However, once beyond the boundaries of culture, the questioning mind may feel adrift. One component of approach to centering is to accept living in doubt. Another is to tentatively accept the cultural ways of knowledge and process while attempting to push both forward together.

One source of the ‘adrift’ feeling is that we seem to barely know what lies just beyond the cultural boundary and therefore, it seems, that we cannot conceive the  entire beyond at all. What I found is that it is in fact far easier to conceive this ultimate beyond (at least in abstract) than it is to conceive the barely beyond in concrete.

As a further component of approach to transcend the ways of my cultures, I found it centering to enquire into the greatest possibilities and realizations of the universe, the individual, knowledge, reason, and realization (in parallel with the ways in the previous paragraph).

A question immediately arises—How can thought of the greatest realization be thought of the concrete at all? The long answer is in the essay. A short answer is that the fundamental concepts of the essay were arrived at by imagination and criticism—trial and error—so as to enable concrete meanings and answers to the question. These concepts center on experience, Being, universe, and reason (which includes imagination, criticism, experiment, and exploration). These concepts enable the demonstration of an ultimate metaphysics. As suggested above, these are conceived in abstract form. But the abstractness is in the concepts and not in their objects. Still a question remains of how to relate the ultimate objects to the immediate. The abstract development itself provides an answer. While it is in the nature of knowledge of the concrete to be an imprecise rendering of objects (and the notion of object), such knowledge is pragmatically perfect from the new point of view provided by the abstract metaphysics. The abstract and the pragmatic therefore combine in what is and may be called a (the) perfect metaphysics.

The way to the answer to the how question above is long. However, once arrived at, it is both profound and trivial. It is profound in its meaning and consequences, yet trivial in its expression. And it gives sense to and a way of answering a world of fundamental questions which includes the question of what the fundamental questions are.

This essay describes the outcome of my inquiries and some aspects of the process that led to and emerged from “What shall we do?”

Concepts in the introduction

The concepts are listed in their order of occurrence.

what shall we do, Way of Being, discovery, realization, ultimate, immediate, ecstasy, means, ideas, vehicles, individual, civilization, secular paradigm, limitless, transsecular paradigm, primal culture, what shall we do, worldview.

About the introduction

The introduction leads the reader into the main text. Here are its specific aims.

1.      Provide introductory explanations as complement to the formal content.

2.      Explain that the content is intended as new and not as a compilation of received thought. It is understood that any ‘new’ work will be a synthesis of the received and possibly original thought.

3.      State personal and general motives and origins for The Way and its development.

4.      Anticipate and respond to the most likely general criticisms of content and aim.

5.      Make suggestions to the reader on how to understand and absorb the work.

The Way and its worldview

Recall that the introduction is informal and formal development is taken up later.

The Way of Being is discovery and realization of the ultimate from the immediate.

The Way is the ultimate and immediate as one.

The Way is based in a worldview—i.e., a metaphysics.

A core of the worldview or metaphysics of the essay is a demonstrated fundamental principle of metaphysics (FP) that the universe is limitless in that it is the realization of (all) possibility.

Some questions arise about the principle (with conclusions from the essay in brackets)

What is possibility in this context? (Logical possibility.)

Can the fundamental principle be proved? (Yes, and proof and heuristics will be given.)

But how is proof possible at all, let alone the question of actual proof, given that we are remote even from the next developments in science? (A heuristic will show how proof is possible. The next development in science is indeed remote though perhaps imaginable. And subsequent developments are not even imagined. But, and this is the heuristic, the limit of all developments in science is bounded by logic. This also suggests how a proof might go. If logic is what pertains neutrally to all things, the proof ought to based on properties of universe as universe—i.e. not in its details but as abstract—and its complement, the void. The proof employs properties of the universe and the void as abstract notions.)

Is the fundamental principle it consistent internally and with experience of the world, e.g. science? (Yes.)

But does not science, especially modern physics and cosmology, show the universe to be fundamentally limited. (No, we often think so when our pictorial or intuitive view of the universe derives from the formal view from science. But for that to justify the formal picture from science as the ultimate picture would be circular. The formal picture and the fundamental principle are consistent for all logical possibilities includes that there is a region of the universe that is our cosmos. In fact ‘all possibilities’ allow multiple similar and identical cosmoses of which ours is one.)

Does this exhaust all kinds of consistency or inconsistency? (Yes.)

Does reference to logic imply sterility? (No for it refers to what logic allows, which is ultimately rich.)

But is there no doubt about the principle at all? (Yes, and there should be. Doubts are sought and addressed and this adds to confidence and significance of the principle.)

Is this a new picture—for example is not the same as the principle of plenitude that the universe contains all possible forms of existence? Is it not the same as David Lewis’ modal realism that all possible worlds exist? (There are antecedents. However, as far as I know the fact of a proof is new. Immanuel Kant held the principle of plenitude but also that it could not be proved. In David Lewis conceived his possible worlds as causally isolated and therefore as ‘logical objects’. Proof leads not just to confidence but also to the principle as applicable. It leads, particularly, to a view of the universe as ultimate. This in turn leads to conceptual developments such as a new or enhanced conceptions of logic and abstract objects. It is shown in the essay that there can be no ultimately isolated worlds.)

This sounds theoretical. Are there practical applications? (In the immediate world it leads to consequences for the significance and interpretation of our standard views of the real, including science. Together with careful analysis it shows that the universe is neither material nor mental as we commonly understand those terms. However the universe can be seen as experiential-experienced which is not pan-psychism as commonly conceived. The universe is shown to have identity and being of which our identity-being is part. The universe and its identity exist as limitlessly many cosmoses against a void and transient background. The whole goes through peaks and dissolutions of limitless variety. We are part of that.)

It still sounds theoretical. How does that change life on earth? Would eternity not be ultimately boring? Would there not be the eternal possibility of pain and suffering? How can we hope to realize the ultimates? (Our lives are now illuminated by possibility and meaning. We need not turn to merely material scientific secularism or to speculative and dogmatic religion and metaphysics for meaning. From limitless variety, eternity is ever fresh. Pain and suffering cannot be eliminated. It is also true that there will be experience of meaninglessness and meaningless pain. But pain is not disproof and further, it is seen on the new view that pain can be given meaning in its emergence into positive and ultimate life and that that knowledge can give equanimity. The fundamental principle alone shows only that we will realize ultimates but not how. The essay develops an amalgam of the principle and our best knowledge of the world into a perfect metaphysics that shows not only that realization will occur but also that intentional entry into the process makes for efficiency and ecstasy or enjoyment. From such thoughts the essay develops a flexible path or program for realization.)

But is not all metaphysics speculative and therefore not real knowledge at all? And since what we ‘know’ is not the object, is not real knowledge impossible? (The metaphysics developed here is founded on perfectly known concepts in its abstract side. On its pragmatic side, our best knowledge is pragmatic—but this is shown to be perfect as the best possible local instrument of realization. That perfection of the pragmatic recognizes that realization must be trial and correction; and that pragmatic knowledge makes that trial process meaningful, enjoyable, ecstatic, and efficient. The possibility of metaphysics as real knowledge of the real is a classical issue. It is circumvented in science but claiming only that science is sufficiently good for some—perhaps many—purposes. Here, as noted, the metaphysics real knowledge in two ways—first, the perfection on the abstract side and, second, the pragmatic perfection on the pragmatic side. Thus the metaphysics of the essay is called the perfect metaphysics, abbreviated, PFM, and the metaphysics.)

But is not this juxtaposition of the perfect and pragmatic a pollution or dilution of the classical ideals of metaphysical substance and the possibility of uniform epistemology? (No, the approach in the essay goes deeper than substance to an ultimate depth of the void—of neither substance nor need for substance. In this sense it is an ultimate refinement of metaphysics and epistemology. And it is thus shown that the universe is perfectly and non-trivially knowable in broad enough strokes. The metaphysics is an ultimate worldview—and as essentially the only such view, the ultimate worldview.)

There was reference above to antecedents in western philosophy. Is not this picture anticipated by the Advaita Vedanta of Indian philosophy in which Brahman (absolute spirit) is eternal and limitless and Atman (individual self) are identical. (Yes, definitely. The Advaita Vedanta view and its later developments do not all picture a final absolute. The ‘absolute’ of the perfect metaphysics is ever in process but ever in contact with the ultimate. The Advaita depends on mystic insight where here we depend in part on proof. This is consequential. For mystic insight is a kind of intuition and intuition and proof are complementary. As our modern science and mathematics become more and complex and their learning curve gets steeper, the possibility arises that, even with generalization and simplification, we may arrive at the end of proof or perhaps the end of our models of proof. Intuition and proof will need to be complementary. We will need to look for alternative kinds or models of proof—e.g., rationality as a stronger complement to experiment and theory than it has been. And to employ knowledge in realization, intuition will be essential for intuition can be seen as embodiment of form and formal proof structures. A final observation is that the proof and formalization lead to powerful additional means of knowing and realizing the ultimate and its varieties.)

It is seen that the universe has identity; that limited worlds and beings merge with the universe and its identity as the limitless; that engaging in realization is an ever fresh adventure of endless wonder.

The Indian Philosophy of Advaita Vedanta is a source for the idea of the merging of identities in an ultimate infinite identity.

Readers may enquire—What of death and the possible temporal finitude of our cosmos? What of failure? It is a consequence of the worldview that death is inevitable but not absolute; and if the cosmos is finite it merges with the infinite or limitless. Death and failure may be givens but are gates to the infinite.

The essay finds ways that finite beings merge with the infinite; and shows that in the infinite and limitless, our cosmos is essentially infinitesimal and that its relative isolation is temporary. Readers may wonder why we do not see this in this life. Perhaps, they argue, “if there is a future life in which more will be revealed, we will know it then”. This essay is in fact one way of seeing. Now question whether it is but a matter of passive revelation or whether that future awareness will require questioning and searching. The thought of a future life is intended as a thought experiment to remind us that if we would enter into any transformative process it must begin in some particular life—and so why not in this life? If we would approach the ultimate, this life—now… some particular now—is the time and place to begin.

The worth of the worldview includes (i) the ideal—that in revealing the ultimate it gives meaning to the immediate being of all beings, (ii) the real—it is a problem of the worldview, addressed in this essay, to find feasible ways to the ultimate from and even in the immediate, and (iii) a guarantee—that feasible ways will be found for limited beings.

And, to repeat, what of pain and suffering?

The engagement is reassuring if wonder is affirmed and pain (and suffering) adequately addressed to the best of a society’s ability, and accepted an attitude that minimizes the psychologically destructive aspect of pain. As stated later, Nirvana is being in realization even in and using pain.

A characteristic of human and other sapient beings is that they can discover the nature of their own and universal Being sufficiently to engage in realization intelligently.

Exploration of the worldview of The Way and its consequences for thought and action are touched on in the remainder of the introduction. Formal treatment begins with the Worldview, p.29.

Means and vehicles

The means are ideas or discovery and action or realization.

The vehicles of The Way are individuals and civilizations.

As understood here, civilization is that which aims at the ultimate; includes all cultures, particularly the primal; and is not, e.g., techno- or Euro-centric.

Our civilization is the web of cultures across time and continents. Universal civilization is the matrix of civilizations across the universe.

Sources

The sources for The Way are knowledge, understanding, learning, action and exploration.

These are two—personal and what may be valid in the human traditions.

Received paradigms

The received paradigms are primal, secular, and transsecular.

It is essential to consider paradigms (a) as sources of The Way, (b) to show consistency among the worldview of the essay and what is valid in the received paradigms, and (c) for contribution to the means of realization.

The secular paradigms center on the experienced—the empirical—especially, science.

The secular is limited when regarded as describing the entire universe and not just the empirical cosmos.

That the universe (Being) should be conceptually limitless is consistent with science and reason.

This limitlessness includes variety, extension, and duration of Being; and peak, dissolution, and repetition—and that all beings attain the peaks.

It is characteristic of human beings that they can at least begin to conceive and know the nature of Being—and their own being.

The transsecular paradigms attempt to go beyond but are almost invariably limiting via dogma or positing truth.

Yet since the empirical is not the limit of the universe, there is a role for open or non-dogmatic trans-empirical and imaginative but rational accounts of the universe.

The secular and transsecular, considered imaginatively and rationally, may merge in the trans-empirical.

In primal culture, the secular-transsecular split has not occurred. Though not as sophisticated, the primal is often less dogmatic and more open to ‘Being’. Perhaps the existential vantage point from the primal is more advanced than ours.

Structure of the essay

The next main division—the first of the two main divisions—‘Worldview’, establishes the metaphysics of the essay. That leads into the second main division, ‘The way’ which develops Paths and ends with thoughts toward ‘The future’. The remaining ‘Resources’ and the Index provide closure and support.

The worldview is established in the next division—the Worldview, p.29. The worldview leads in to The way, p.60, which develops Paths, p.67, and templates for of realization. The remaining parts are the Resources, p.72, and an Index, p.81.

The concepts, system of concepts, and reasoning for the worldview, the way and path, were arrived at by trial and error.

The concepts stand as a system.

Reason is part of the system.

The meanings of the concepts may invalidate other meanings from the history of thought but this is not the intent. The primary intent is to develop a system that is coherent and as full as may emerge. A second intent is to complement the historical search for knowledge, understanding, meaning, and exploration.

The worldview or metaphysics is demonstrated and rendered intuitive. It is shown self-consistent, consistent with experience, and consistent with what is valid in the traditions of thought and exploration.

The development builds toward the demonstration and is thereafter concerned with consequences, interpretation, and realization. It would be more efficient to demonstrate the fundamental principle at the very beginning of the formal treatment. However, it is more effective to build toward it in such a way as to give it significance and context. Some consequences of the fundamental principle are commented upon before the principle is proved but these are not part of the development toward the principle.

The consequences of the worldview go limitlessly beyond the ‘universe’ of our common paradigms.

Reading the essay

Given that the worldview entails that the empirical cosmos is essentially infinitesimal in relation to the entire universe it is natural that some readers will doubt or reject the worldview. Other readers may accept the worldview and its arguments—and may be excited by it. This section is addressed to all kinds of reader—those who approach the essay with enthusiasm and those who approach it with doubt or rejection … and those who approach it with hope tinged with doubt.

If we question our worldviews, no matter how securely we experience them, outcomes include (i) an improved worldview, (ii) even greater security in one’s received view, (iii) accepting transience and doubt as essential to life and foundation for equanimity.

To understand the ultimate worldview

To understand the worldview, it is essential to follow the meanings (definitions) as given. It is expected that to absorb the worldview as an intuitive Gestalt and to integrate what is valid in the common paradigms will take exposure and reflection. Once the worldview has been formally and intuitively absorbed, the common paradigms and meanings may be a complementary source of richness.

It should be recognized that The Way is not just a system of thought. It is also intended as a way of action. To use the ideas toward action—critically of course—will enhance understanding of the content and intent of the work.

To understand the worldview requires (1) to understand the reasoning from fundamentals in the Worldview, p.29, (2) to understand its consequences for knowledge and action—including its integration with received knowledge, and (3) to live the view in realizing the ultimate it reveals.

Suggestions for readers

Here are suggestions for some different kinds of reader.

All readers may begin by following the main text as specified in the section on Notation, p.18.

The essay presents a picture of a limitless universe and the place of beings in that universe. The general reader is one that is interested in that picture.

It is expected that there will be doubt—which is addressed in the introduction and the main text, especially via (i) proof (The fundamental principle, p.52) and (ii) addressing doubt (The principle is consistent with experience and reason, p.53). Once they have skimmed the main text, general readers may then follow whatever they find of interest.

Some readers will be primarily interested in the ideas. They may focus on the Worldview, p.29 – p.60. They may refer to the tables of contents to follow their interest.

A third class of reader is interested in realization. Their first source will be The Way, p.60 – p.71. However, for the most effective realization, a foundation in ideas is essential—(i) instrumentally, which is obvious, and (ii) in that ideas are a mode of realization that is also a kind of and merges with action.

All readers may find the Resources, p.72, useful.

WORLDVIEW

Exploration of the view and its consequences for thought and action now begin.

Concepts

The concepts are listed in their order of occurrence.

sameness, difference, primitives, construct, extension, identity, duration, spatial extension, logical precursor, space, time, world, spacetime, exist, being, Being, power, measure of Being, experience, pure consciousness, attitudinal, attitude, action, effectively nonexistent, object, concept, standard secular worldview, field of experience, meaning, place of meaning, fact, natural law, science, hypothesis, logic, factual consistency, perceptual conception, free conception, Logic, determinism, absolute indeterminism, absolute determinism, block view, cosmos, isolated, multiple histories, one Being, free will, universe, cause, creator, contingent, necessary, non-classical cause, satisfactory explanation, possible worlds, the void, logical possibility, real possibility, PNSU, sentient possibility, metaphysics, fundamental principle of metaphysics, universal law, existential principle, necessity, concrete object, abstract object, continuum, nonexistent, culture, pragmatic, tradition, the perfect metaphysics, cosmology, general cosmology, Atman, Brahman, form, mechanism, formation, variation, selection, creative

Introduction to this division

The introduction to the essay motivated the development with the question “What shall we do?

This division begins with elements of our presence in the world.

Givens

The givens

Sameness and difference are primitives.

The following are constructs from the givens.

Constructs

Extension is sameness and difference or their absence.

In what follows the constructs below are not assumed until and unless introduced.

Identity is the sense of sameness of object or person.

The concepts of space and time are not developed in all versions of this essay.

Duration and spatial extension may be constructed from extension and identity. Sameness and difference are logical precursors to space, time, and the world or spacetime-world. The sense of ‘logical precursion’ is made clear later. In the same sense, absence—‘the void’, defined later—is precursor to sameness and difference.

Duration or time is marked by difference for a given identity; spatial extension is marked by different contiguous identity. It follows that extension and duration are neither separate nor necessarily separable; and that spacetime, where it obtains, is immanent to the world; spacetimes may occur in different patches and do not constitute an absolute or universal framework for the universe.

Being

Existence, beings, and Being

To exist is to be validly describable by some form of the verb to be.

Thus existence is location in extension.

However, existence is neutral to kinds of extension, e.g. to existence, universality, and nature of space and time, and to distinctions within extension—particularly to spacetime, i.e. place and time. To exist may involve a very specific, extended, or compound location in sameness and difference or, via abstraction, in no such location. It is further neutral to entity-, process-, interaction-, universal- vs instance-, or quality-hood; particularly to number and gender.

An existent or being is that which exists.

Existence or Being is the property of all beings and only of beings.

The hypothetical being that does not even indirectly affect a given being does not exist relative to the given being.

The hypothetical being that affects no being does not exist.

Power—the measure of Being

Power is giving or receiving effect.

In The Sophist, Plato suggests a definition of Being.

Power is the measure of BeingBeing is the measure of Being.

Nonexistent Being

A nonexistent being is defined by a hypothetical or concept that has no object or reference. Similarly, an existent or potential being is defined by a concept with actual or potential reference.

Why Being?

As an instrument to depict the real, the force of the concept of Being lies in its neutrality, its definiteness, and in that it need not refer beyond itself for foundation.

In greater detail, the foundational force of the concept of Being lies (a) in its neutrality and so its inclusivity, (b) in its definiteness via abstraction, and (c) in that it neither refers nor needs to refer beyond itself for foundation.

The system of concepts of The Way inherits and enhances this force.

About Being vs beings

In the concrete, Being is not a being. With sufficient abstraction, Being is a being.

Meaning

Introduction to meaning and experience

What is meaning and why is it important? The essay considers significant meaning as well as concept and linguistic meaning. Significant meaning as in the ‘meaning of life’ is addressed below. This section introduces concept meaning, in the rough sense of given a concept term, what is its definition? The notion of meaning in modern philosophy is important but contentious—some philosophers, e.g. WVO Quine, have done away with it altogether saying that there is no such thing; Quine discusses meaning, e.g. in his Philosophy of Logic (second edition, 1986), only to dismiss it; his argument is that as an object meaning is abstract and that in fact there is no object as intended. The very notion of meaning here will be modified so as to avoid meaning as an abstract object. The definition of meaning here is shown to be necessary for definiteness of meaning and clarity of use; it is shown sufficient for the purposes of the metaphysics of the essay.

It is seen below that experience and Being are essentially intertwined—a unit. Consideration of experience is deferred because it is effective to first have laid out Being in a neutral manner.

In analyzing Being and experience, an effective partial cast to the development is in terms of doubts or dilemmas. Some of these are considered above and in what follows. However, this is not done systematically (see the section on resources for references to canonical dilemmas). It is worthwhile mentioning some dilemmas that pave the way in.

If in building a picture of the world (metaphysics) we start with the immediate we might begin with experience. Here we began with Being as a matter of effective presentation but there is also a metaphysical temptation to begin with Being—but Being is at least seemingly of ‘the object’ and experience comes before (and contains) the object.

What is experience? Is there such a thing? Such questions may be asked and we may then be tempted to provide a discursive definition or an explanation in material terms. However, the fact is that ‘experience’ (‘consciousness’ as we will see below) is the name of that most immediate awareness that all human beings have. That is its existence is given as the most immediate aspect of our presence in the world (we might refer to Descartes’ argument doubting experience is experience). But, now some thinkers, especially modern practitioners of the philosophy of consciousness, deny that there is such a thing as experience. Now, from the foregoing, such a denial is absurd. So the philosopher might argue—well, yes there is consciousness but it is not what you think it is. Rather they say, (a) it is not phenomenality (the qualitative aspect) at all—there is no such thing—but rather it is phenomenally neutral access to the world (in other words when you feel you are feeling you are deceived), or (b) it is real as phenomenality but not causal—it just goes along for the ride (and there are purported experiments to support this, the argument goes—but note that the experiments pertain to essentially trivial ‘uses’ of consciousness and even there are far from conclusive). Now it is interesting that our common views of experience are rather as the objectors object for we tend to assign greater reality to objects than to consciousness and we might tend to doubt the efficacy of consciousness as causal when reflecting on it. So, the objections are really formalization of common doubts dressed up to sound as if they are a new and deep insight. But are they true? The analysis that follows shows consciousness to have a far greater grade of reality that either the formal or informal doubters think.

We can now ask whether anything exists—i.e., does anything at all have Being? And the answer, given experience, is of course, why yes—there is experience. Then follows the question or doubt—given that there is experience, what else is there? This is taken up in what follows; it is perhaps the central question of metaphysics (and is found to displaces Heidegger’s ‘why is there Being at all’ as the fundamental question of metaphysics).

Experience

Experience is subjective awareness or consciousness.

Experience has Being.

Why use ‘experience’ rather than ‘consciousness’?

Experience has connotations, beyond that of mere subjective awareness, of pure consciousness as well as consciousness directed to the world (attitudinal consciousness) and action consciousness.

Experience is a form of power.

Experience as a measure of Being

The hypothetical being that has no direct or indirect effect—at all—on my existence is effectively nonexistent for (relative to) me.

The hypothetical being that affects no experience at all is effectively nonexistent.

Experience is our effective measure of Being.

Later it is seen that effective nonexistence implies nonexistence.

That will imply that experience is a measure of Being, on par with power.

Inseparability of world, experience, and Being

Being and experience are interwoven as one.

Explanation follows—

Self, world, minds, and experience itself—and thus any subject and object—are located in experience. It is not that (a) there are no objects as such but rather that the concept of an object not known at all is without meaning, or (b) knowing creates the object but rather that Being cannot be separated from experience of Being.

Since we never get outside experience, both concept and object lie within experience. The object is experienced as if outside experience, the concept is experienced as within experience.

Meaning and possibility of objectivity

Still, objectivity as perfect picturing is possible with sufficient abstraction; otherwise objectivity is not known to be more than pragmatic.

While the pragmatic is ‘pragmatically objective’, later we find it a perfect instrument in realization of the ultimate.

A standard secular worldview

A common or standard secular worldview (SSV) is that of individual minds—selves and other minds—in a material world. This view is derivable from reason that begins with Descartes’ cogito argument but refines and extends it—on the further assumption of materialism.

World as field of experience

A broader view is that of the world as field of experience, without explicit assumption or denial of materialism or physicalism, where the minds are part of the field of experience (FOE) and in which the minds are heightened centers and what is called the material environment corresponds to low level experientiality—perhaps zero in value though not in concept. SSV is a particular case of FOE, and so the two are not in factual contradiction. However, FOE resolves the ‘mind-from-world’ problem trivially but SSV cannot resolve the problem at all-it is therefore not a possible worldview for our world (it is logically possible—i.e. may obtain in some world). Further, the FOE picture or more is required by the metaphysics to be developed and provides context for the beings that the metaphysics necessitates. FOE is the most inclusive picture consistent with our experience of our world.

If the world may be interpreted as a field of experience, can we say that the world is a field of experience? Yes, for there the distinction makes no difference to sentient organisms; what is more, under the perfect metaphysics to come, the universe is essentially sentient (which does not mean that it is not at all material).

There is an alternative to SSV—a special case of FOE that approximates SSV in fact but is conceptually entirely different from SSV. If we allow that the field of experience has minimal or zero value outside the heightened centers we obtain an extended standard secular view, ESSV, which is consistent with our experience of the world and conceptually coherent. As a special case of FOE, it allows but does not require all possibilities under FOE.

A question arises—Under materialism (SSV) the world is seen as stable; how, then, can the world have its seen stabilities under FOE? In response observe first that the world is not necessarily stable under materialism and not necessarily unstable under ESSV. Reflection shows that the apparent stability of the world—the constancy of phenomena—is experienced to occur only over limited times and places surrounding the here and now. Under modern cosmology that here and now is at most about 14 billion years into the past and 80 billion light years across. While this seems immense, PFM will reveal that it is infinitesimal and that outside the empirical the universe is as varied and extensive (in time and space) as possible. SSV does not accommodate all the phenomena since it excludes consciousness as a function of matter (in materialism everything is a function of matter). ESSV allows all this—the fluidity, the stability, and the appearance of matter as parts of the field with minimal or zero subjective awareness.

There is a possible explanation of the immediate stability of the phenomena of the world. It is that the world has formed and the nature of formation is a certain solidity (form); and further that we are part of that formation and there for the appearance of stability to us is part of the form of the world. Is this explanation true? Later in Cosmology, p.58, it is seen that this (kind of) explanation must obtain in the universe at large (whether it occurs under our material world view is somewhat different issue); that cannot universally obtain; and that, however, arguments that it is the most common mechanism can be given.

Power and experience

Thus experience is a form of power and power is a primal form of experience.

We ought to place ‘effectively’ before each occurrence of ‘is’ above but in not doing so we lose nothing and gain in seeing how our Being is interwoven with the Being of the universe.

Meaning

Meaning is a system of experience and its actual and possible objects.

This kind of meaning is ‘referential’.

Though other kinds of meaning are pertinent, they are not needed for the development of the worldview of this essay.

Referential meaning includes conceptual (and linguistic) and existential meaning.

This concept of meaning is necessary for reference to be possible, actual, and attitudinal. It is sufficient to (a) the metaphysics to be developed and (b) avoidance of paradox from assumption that syntactically and lexically correct but otherwise arbitrary constructs have reference.

Experience is the place of meaning and Being

Experience is the place of meaningi.e. of conceptual and existential meaning.

Linguistic meaning is conceptual meaning in which the concepts are associated with or denoted by signs.

Existential and conceptual meaning are branches of meaning.

Experience is the place of Being.

This is confirmed for the ultimate context and amplified in Metaphysics, p.53. Here, we have shown that the field of experience is a consistent interpretation of the world. In the later section (Metaphysics, p.53) it is seen that it is an essential characterization of the universe.

Why experience? Experience vs Being

Experience—the concept—is because (a) we do not ultimately get outside experience, (b) therefore experience and Being are ultimately interwoven as one—at least effectively, and (c) experience is the place of meaning and Being.

See sections Experience as a measure of Being, p.34, Inseparability of world, experience, and Being, p.34, World as field of experience, p.35, and Experience is the place of meaning and Being, p.37.

Is logic truly not of the world?, p.41, examines the idea that logic is empirical and therefore a region within experience.

Natural law and Logic

Fact and logic

Perception gives rise to facts.

Some facts are necessarily true from experience—e.g., there is experience, there are beings, there is a world, there is the universe (see below). Other facts may be pragmatically true, e.g. by refinement of observation, repeatability, and corroboration. Analytic truths are not facts.

Observed facts may be simple or compound—but not all facts, either simple or compound, are observed.

A pattern is a compound fact for which the data to specify it is less than the raw data. Some patterns may be observed. Others may be inferred, hypothesized, or projected.

A first notion of logic is that of the means or tools of inference: given some facts (‘premises’), further facts (‘conclusions’) may be inferred. Inferences may be certain or less than certain.

Among mathematicians it is common to refer to certain inference as ‘logic’ (or deductive logic) while terms for the less than certain inference include ‘induction’ and ‘scientific method’. This essay follows the foregoing use but another use, no less ‘valid’ must be recognized so as to avoid confusion: among philosophers it has been common to use ‘logic’ in reference to certain and uncertain inference and then consider different kinds of logic (and their subdivisions).

[A third and informal use of ‘logic’, one that is worth mentioning but which is avoided here, as general reliable reasoning. This use may be confused with the foregoing and when it is not recognized, it leads to insidious error.]

The above picture of logic has an asymmetry. Scientific method is the way scientific theories are arrived at. However, there is no common name for a process in mathematics by which systems of mathematics, e.g. the axioms of for the natural numbers, are arrived at. But there is a similar process—we are first familiar with mathematics as empirical; we then find structure which is axiomatized; but the axioms still need verification in various ways. Thus there are similar and analogous methods of arriving at systems / theories in mathematics / science. Similarly there is deduction within a mathematical systems which is analogous to deduction within, e.g., a branch of theoretical physics (which, because of the imperative for results but not of reason, is not always as rigorous as in mathematics).

Patterns, natural laws, and theories

A law of nature is a reading of a natural pattern.

The laws are expressed conceptually and are generally sufficiently abstract enough to summarize a range of instances or kinds of phenomena.

The patterns have Being.

The law is not the pattern but if we refer to the pattern as the ‘Law’, the statement above becomes ‘The Laws of nature have Being’. This may be abbreviated:

The natural laws are in Being and have Being.

The laws are expressed as freely formed conceptual systems. Because they may be in error the systems are hypothesized—i.e., seen as hypotheses.

Disagreement with observation may lead to correction. If, in time, confidence grows, we may come to see the hypotheses as natural laws and theories.

A hypothesis that is found at least locally valid is a natural law.

From the manner of their development, we cannot know natural laws to be if we do not know we have covered the entire universe. Presently, our sciences are not known to capture the entire universe. However, we can regard the theories of science as compound facts over limited domains.

Two ways in which hypotheses may be true

A hypothesis may be incorrect or inconsistent, (i) if it is inconsistent in—‘disagrees’ with—itself and (ii) if it disagrees with fact—i.e. if it is empirically inconsistent.

Accepting the possibility of error allows the possibility of correction and thus valid theories—locally at least. Truth and error have the same source.

Consistency, logical and factual

The first case above leads to a concept of logic as what must be satisfied by a concept or hypothesis to be realizable in some world. The second is empirical or factual consistency—a requirement that the concepts be realized in the world.

Neither logic nor fact is of the world but of knowledge of the world (this is not entirely obvious for logic and even less so for fact which we tend to think of as definitely of the world). The world-adaptation of psyche renders ‘of knowledge of the world’ as though ‘of the world’; this finds expression in language; and it is efficient that it should be part of conventions of thought and speech. However, when going beyond the world of adaptation, even when the point about adaptation is recognized, it is hard to get outside the idea that at root there is no getting outside. When we fail to recognize that we are already in the territory of error regarding Being.

One origin of logic is in the ability to conceive the unconditionally impossible—i.e. to conceive the world in unconditionally impossible states. For example, it is inherent in the concept of ‘state’ that for a state A, both A and not-A do not obtain; this is the principle of non-contradiction. Thus logic is not a constraint on the world; and logic is not in the world.

Note that the state must be non-vacuous.

A paradox may now seem to arise for if logic is not about objects, how can it be potent in mathematics? The response is that it is potent because it reveals structures that already exist but are not apparent to limited intelligence. That is, logic is a tool to explicitly reveal implicit structure in the world.

Similarly, the states of the world are given while knowledge of states—factual claims—can agree or disagree with the states.

Science must be consistent with the known facts. If further facts disagree with a theory, either revision or revolution is necessary. A theory must of course be logically consistent—this is so obvious as to often not merit mention.

What is the nature of a scientific theory? It purports to describe a pattern in the real. Even where it is successful it may be no more than a very good approximation. Yet it does capture some pattern if only a limited one. That it captures a pattern is equivalent to saying that it is a compound fact (the many less compound facts that constitute the pattern). But, since we have not seen all of reality, we also see scientific theories as always retaining the aspect of being a hypothesis about the universe. If the empirical domain were essentially the entire universe then the hypothetical aspect would be eliminated but we do not know that the empirical domain is the entire universe (even though some thinkers seem to think that it is—but this the mistake of projection of the worldview built up from science to the universe). Of course we expect that there is a limited region beyond the empirical where the theory may still obtain but we have no reason to expect or claim that that is true of the entire universe beyond the empirical. So now consider the question—Is a scientific theory a compound fact or does it retain a hypothetical character? The answer is ‘both’—for it is a fact over its valid empirical domain but a hypothesis at best regarding the trans-empirical.

Is logic truly not of the world?

We argued that logic is not of the world because it has nothing to do with actual patterns. Let us further analyze the claim that logic is not of the world.

The content of this section is currently speculative.

Does not the fact that there are different logics (predicate which includes the propositional as zeroeth order, modal logic or the logic of possibility and necessity—the alethic modes; and modal logics in a broader sense—tensed, epistemic, deontic and so on) imply that the logics are about the world?

Surely the modal logics in the broader sense are about the world. Let us remove tensed, epistemic, deontic logic and so on from the list leaving only those logics that may reasonably be said to not be about the world.

Our core assertion, then, is that the logics of predicates, possibility, and necessity are not about the world. In this strict sense, logic is not about the world.

However, are not the following about the world… about the real?

1.      Existence of fact—of subjects and objects,

2.      Existence of properties—of predicates, and

3.      Existence of possibility and necessity—e.g. in necessary facts, e.g. existence of the void?

Thus, in encompassing, subjects, logic as only of the mind is nil. Now while science is of world-as-world, logic is (science) of (world-as-world-and-mind). If we now incorporate logic and science as both being about the world (as did WVO Quine) then we find that logic as not about the world at all is nil and correspondingly the world is ultimately rich.

Argument or Logic

The two—logic and factual consistency—combine in what is sometimes called argument.

In a sound argument both consistencies obtain—in common terms, premises are true and inferences are necessary and valid. However, the two are of a kind since they both occur in conception as noted above—the two kinds are perceptual conception and free conception.

Rather than to use the common term ‘argument’ we may combine the two kinds of consistency under the uncommon but meaningful and more inclusive alternative ‘Logic’.

Where it will not cause confusion, ‘logic’ will be used in its ordinary sense and the one above.

Science, mathematics and logic

Let us analyze science a little further. From Patterns, natural laws, and theories, p.39, a theory of physics is (expression of) a fact-pattern over its empirical domain. The expression of the theory may be in terms of a system or systems of mathematics. For example, Newtonian Mechanics may be written as a system of differential equations—ordinary differential equations for discrete systems and partial differential equations for continua. The expression and general solution of the equations is founded in analysis. In solving particular problems further mathematics may arise—e.g. linear algebra including the eigenvalue problem for linear vibrations, and topology for stability in nonlinear systems.

What is the status of the systems of mathematics? That is—What are they? Are they abstract axiomatic systems with logic as a deductive method as is commonly thought today? Or are they abstract sciences as a minority of current and recent thinkers such as WVO Quine have written? Or are they perhaps both?

Obviously, systems of mathematics, when written axiomatically, are axiomatic. They do not obviously correspond precisely to something in the real world even when they are excellent tools for that purpose. The reason that they do not obviously so correspond is that, in science, as descriptions of the real they are approximate. They may be excellent in some pragmatic sense. Yet they fail to capture the real for reasons of both degree of precision and conceptual failure—and while this is useful in a range of applications, as truth of the universe they are absolute failures (unless such truth is demonstrated, which for today’s science is not the case).

So to what do systems of mathematics correspond? Some possibilities are (1) essentially they correspond to nothing—they are just systems of signs within which we can prove results (in this interpretation, proof is a system of signs about allowable relationships between signs), perhaps attempt to apply them in some cases, and regarding consistency to sometimes show it and at other times to have good reasons to hold it, (2) they are abstract containers for more particular but still axiomatic models—ones that we hold to have concrete but not necessarily real purchase,  (3) they are objects in mental space (what constitutes ‘mental space’ is vague unless it refers to conceptual systems which would give it essentially one or more of the other interpretations of mathematical object from 1 to 6), (4) they are expressions of mathematical intuition (of course this raises the question of the object of such intuition, if any), (5) their objects lie in an ideal world—a Platonic world, one that is distinct from our real (read messy) world, or (6) they are abstractions that correspond to abstracts of the real world.

Now we know that there is but one universe. This shows that while the Platonic option may have some purchase, it cannot be final.

If the universe is the realization of logical possibility then item 6 above holds for (if) we hold mathematical systems to be consistent. But that is not all. All consistent referential concepts (including percepts) must have precise objects somewhere in the universe—though not necessarilhy in our cosmos—somewhere on an abstract-concrete continuum.

Thus, later when we show that the universe is the realization of logic, we will then confirm that mathematical systems have objects in the universe (which objects are abstracts of concrete objects). Of course this interpretation does not eliminate interpretations 1, 2, 4. and 5 above (as noted above interpretation 3, if precise, is not another interpretation). That is, the interpretation 6 is real but not unique. However, it is the most inclusive and powerful.

A mathematical system is an abstract science whose objects are in the universe. Its method of discovery emphasizes intuition as well as some empirical data, its method of justification emphasizes conceptual consistency or logic and some empirical, e.g. numerical, testing.

The interpretation of mathematics as referring to abstract objects is interesting. It shows (a) that mathematics can be seen as a science of abstract objects just as ‘the sciences’ are sciences of the concrete, (b) discovery in mathematics could parallel discovery in the concrete sciences as discovery in the world, but the actual discovery is via intuition and proof because we do not (yet) have access to the entire universe (in both cases intuition and imagination are significant), (c) the synthesis of mathematical systems involves hypotheses—formation of axiomatic systems, and testing for consistency and, e.g., whether they correspond the intuitions they purport to capture or whether perhaps they define or capture new intuitions, (d) deductive logic is similar to mathematics but is not a science in the sense of being about the world (but it could perhaps be thought of as the abstract and concrete science of the relation between concepts and objects—in which case the abstract side would be deductive logic and the concrete would be an aspect of probable inference), (e) the parallel between the abstract and the concrete is one concrete and perhaps the fundamental reason for the application of the abstract to the concrete and the origin of the abstract—often—in the concrete, and (f) there are other sciences such as linguistics—which have abstract and concrete sides.

In summary of the section, (1) the sciences are abstract and concrete, (2) both are about the world, (3) this is essentially why they are distinct yet connected, (4) their methods are similar, yet, since access to the real-abstract is limited, appeal for the abstract is made to intuition while ‘testing’ relies more on conceptual consistency (logic) than empirical consistency.

This section so far has treated sciences whose theory is expressible in terms of mathematics. What may we say of a field such as evolutionary biology whose main expression is conceptual but not mathematical. Noting that mathematics is conceptual, the discussion so far may be extended to include the non-mathematical sciences by extending the discussion from consideration of mathematics to consideration of referential conceptual systems.

The origin or ‘ground’ of Logic

The source of logic has already been broached. From one viewpoint, logic is the necessary requirement on purported referential concepts to in fact refer. Consider “the sun is visible” and “the sun is visible and not visible”. Of course the latter is possible if, e.g. not visible may refer to a blind person; however, let us assume that such semantic exceptions are eliminated and that “the sun is visible” means that some person can and is seeing the sun. In that case “the sun is visible” may or may not be true (it is a matter of fact) but “the sun is visible and not visible” cannot be true.

That it is not and cannot be true is an example of the law of logic called the ‘law of non-contradiction’. It seems that the truth of the law is ‘a priori’ to experience—i.e., its truth is not derived from experience, e.g. generalization from many cases. But can it not be inferred from experience? Yes, if we infer its likely truth from many instances. However, we can also infer its necessity from meaning alone. Some conditions are needed of course, e.g. (a) there must be a sun and the possibility of its visibility for without those “the sun is visible and not visible” can be both true and false even though it is without meaning, and (b) it presumes that there are (at least) sentient organisms simply because facts in isolation are without meaning (as seen earlier). We might say that the law of non-contradiction is a priori to experience but not to the possibility of Being and experience. Though we will not go into it here, the law of the excluded middle and the law of identity have analyses roughly along the same lines including the semantics of ‘true’ and ‘false’. The details of systems, e.g. the logical calculi, may also go through with sufficient semantics.

Can there be conclusions in pure logic? There can of course—and the theorems of logic are examples and, of course, the rules within logic must be subject to analyses similar to the foregoing. But are these conclusions about the world? They would not seem to be but they are conclusions about the relationship of conceivers-perceivers and the world. How, then, can there be a claim to a priori truth? Superficially, the distinction is that of necessary vs. likely inference. In fact, the distinction between the a priori and a posteriori must remain experientially or empirically open. We may assert, however, that it is necessary for the a priori to be necessary.

It was thus that Immanuel Kant thought Euclidean Geometry and Newtonian Mechanics to be ‘synthetic a priori’. They were synthetic because they were about the world (e.g. F = ma and not either F = ma and not F = ma). But a consensus of Kant’s time, from their success and precise formulation, was that they were also a priori. Today, we know that they are not a priori.

However, we have seen that Being—and other fundamentals—is a priori to experience of the world; it is necessary for experience which we regard as a fact.

Thus even Being is not an absolute a priori: it is a priori to what is experienced but it is not a priori to the fact of experience—i.e. it is not a priori to Being itself (an extension of the received meaning of the a priori).

If we regard Being as necessary (it is necessary relative to experience) and so as a ‘logical fact’ then (a) there are conclusions of pure logic but of course (b) we tend to think that Being is not necessary (and the problem of Being—‘something from nothing’—is generally regarded as unresolved and some even think it impossible to resolve). Thus there would be a consensus that Being is as close as possible to but not absolute a priori. The consensus, then, would be that the term ‘a priori’ has significance.

However, we will later show that Being is necessary (The fundamental principle of metaphysics, p.52) and thus that there is no absolute a priori and that while there is relative a priori the relative-ness depends on how far we dig.

Determinism, indeterminism, and Logic

In a deterministic universe, Logic would give no freedom; all would be determined.

To uncover the significance of Logic a careful conception of determinism is necessary. Consider it to be that a part determines the whole—a conception due to William James. In temporal determinism, an appropriately defined slice in time determines the whole (since we do not know the universe to be entirely spatiotemporal, the ‘whole’ here is a spatiotemporal part of the universe). In holographic determinism, a space of lower dimension determines the whole.

In absolute indeterminism, no part determines the whole.

In an absolutely indeterministic universe no possible states do not occur; and it also has absolute determinism in that all possible states occur. That is, in particular, an absolutely indeterministic universe would contain phases of determinism as well as creative mixes of determinism and indeterminism.

We will find that the universe is absolutely indeterministic in the sense defined and elaborated above.

Does our cosmos determine the universe?

Clearly determinism is ‘relative’. In a block view of the universe as all of its states, the universe is deterministic relative to itself even if it contains indeterministic phases.

Consider a cosmos that is partially isolated. Relative to the cosmos and to observers therein, the universe is not entirely determined (this is the meaning of ‘isolation’ in the sense just used). Thus the Logic of that cosmos allows freedom relative to the universe. In the block picture of absolute indeterminism, at every limited being, histories converge to and diverge from it—there are multiple histories. This is the freedom of limited beings. It is how, if the universe is suitably free, beings may merge with one another and as one Being.

That one Being is ultimate with regard to a process. Is there an actual ultimate? The block picture is perhaps ultimate.

Free will

Free will occurs in the creative interplay between the individually non-creative deterministic and indeterministic.

The universe

The universe is all Being (or all beings).

There is precisely one universe.

Cause and creation

The universe has no cause in the classical sense of cause by another being or aspect of Being (existence).

The universe has no creator in the above sense.

(One being or part of the universe may be implicated in the creation of another.)

Is existence of the universe necessary?

The existence of the manifest universe is either contingent or necessary.

Contingency or necessity—whichever is the case—may be considered the non-classical cause of the (manifest) universe.

(Existence of the manifest universe will be found necessary.)

What would a satisfactory explanation of existence be?

If there is a satisfactory explanation of the existence of the universe it is that it is necessary, for the contingent has an essential connotation of the accidental.

A satisfactory explanation of existence implies existence of all possible worlds

Similarly, if there is a satisfactory explanation of our cosmos or world it must be necessity. Then, from symmetry all possible worlds must exist.

But this is not a demonstration of existence of all possible worlds

The essay now turns to proof of what may hold.

The void and its existence

The void

The void is the absence of Being.

The void is the null being.

Since laws have Being the void has no laws.

It is the absence of Being in that it contains no beings.

The concepts of the void and the quantum vacuum are distinct.

The following exist, i.e. have Being—beings, Being, the universe, power, experience, the world, and natural laws all exist (have Being).

The existence of the void is not clearly given.

‘Something from nothing’

If the universe is in a nonmanifest state, i.e. if it is the void, it has no beings—particularly, it has no natural laws. If from the void, no beings were to emerge, that would be a natural law (or laws). Therefore, a manifest universe must emerge from the void (the nonmanifest).

(There must be—phases of—something. An eternal void is impossible. The manifest universe is eternal in that phases of manifest Being are without end.)

Existence of the void

However, the void exists by itself as the nonmanifest universe; and when the universe is manifest, it exists alongside the universe as its complement.

It also exists as the complement of every being relative to itself.

Heuristic argument

A heuristic ‘proof’ of existence of the void—existence and nonexistence of the void are equivalent.

The void is eternal

The void exists ‘eternally’.

There is exactly one void

Except that there is one, the number of voids is of no consequence.

Therefore we may take there to be precisely one void.

Possibility

A conceived state is possible if it is realized in some world.

That is, a conceived state is possible if it is realized somewhere in extension.

Real and logical possibility

Two kinds of possibility are the logical and the real. These two kinds arise from the two ways in which a conceived state may fail to correspond to the real. A conceived state has logical possibility if its negation cannot be realized in any world. Real possibility is that which obtains in at least one world. In western thought a standard set of kinds, from experience in our cosmos, are natural, social (and of civilization), and perhaps the universal—which includes the unknown.

A more complete account of possibility is found in the Resources, p.72, according to kinds of logic and domains of the real (e.g. physical and mental).

The possible and the actual

The possible is always inclusive of or identical to the actual.

For a part of the universe, the real possible may be greater than the actual, for the actual is co-extensive with the part but something else may be accessed by the part, e.g. at another time or place.

For the universe—all Being over all sameness and difference and their absence, including space and time—if some concept is never actual or actualized, it cannot be possible.

That is, for the universe the real possible and actual are identical.

The logically possible must be identical to or greater than the real possible.

Therefore, the possible is always inclusive of or identical to the actual.

Some kinds of real possibility

Real possibility is universal or local, e.g. for the empirical cosmos. The latter includes the natural, the social, and—depending on worldview—the supernatural.

The supernatural has at least two meanings—(i) transcending this world altogether and (ii) not captured by the known laws of nature. These two are often conflated.

(A classification due to western culture for our world is the experiential and the experienced or material which includes experience as object; here the term ‘material’ is not used literally. The experiential is detailed as psyche and its aspects, e.g. consciousness, self-awareness, cognition, emotion, and volition; and culture. The experienced is detailed as nature (the elementary or physical and the emergent complexity of the living and associated psyche), society and civilization, and the universal—unknown. This is captured in the acronym PNSU.

Sentient possibility, is that which sentient organisms may attain in their Being, thought, and realized designs.

Is realization of all possibility paradoxical?

That all possibility should be realized is not paradoxical—which it might be if ‘possibility’ were to be used in some of its naïve senses.

The fundamental principle

Preliminary—metaphysics has already begun

Metaphysics is knowledge of the real.

In the discussion of Being and related concept, metaphysics has already begun.

This conception of metaphysics is complementary to other conceptions which it does not deny except where it may disconfirm them.

Metaphysics is possible—and potent—by construction. Potency is further developed below.

Existence of the void has been shown.

The fundamental principle

For the universe, i.e. All Being, the possible and the real are identical.

To what kind of possibility does the assertion above refer?

(In the following, where ‘logically’ occurs in brackets, it is a recognition of the fact that logic may be unimportant to the general reader.)

A (logically) possible state not realized would be a law of the void—but since it has no laws, all (logically) possible are realized from the void.

Hence the fundamental principle of metaphysics, abbreviated the fundamental principle or FP

The universe is the realization of all (logically) possible states.

Naturally, all realized states are logically possible from the meaning of ‘logical possibility’ alone. For a logically impossible state is defined by a concept such that from the concept alone there can be no realization. An example of a logically impossible state is a square circle in Euclidean Geometry.

The principle is consistent with experience and reason

This section addresses objections to the fundamental principle.

Is the principle consistent with our experience and reason? That it is follows from the earlier discussions of science, logic and experience. Is it intuitively reasonable? It is more than that, for just as in earlier discussion of a satisfactory explanation of the universe, the fundamental principle follows if one accepts that our Being has a satisfactory explanation.

The fundamental principle as universal law and existential principle

If we do not accept the fundamental principle as proven or that our Being has satisfactory explanation we may hypothesize it as a fully consistent universal law or principle or consider it to be an existential principle or hypothesis to guide meaning and optimal action.

Metaphysics

This section is about consequences of the fundamental principle.

A potent but abstract metaphysics

By construction we have shown an abstract metaphysics—thus an abstract metaphysics is manifestly possible. The abstract will be extended to the abstract-concrete later in this section.

The metaphysics is clearly potent in that in the realization of all possibility, the universe is ultimate.

About proof

Most of the assertions below follow plainly from FP. Even where there is appeal either to mechanism or intuition, if the assertion does not violate logic the conclusion must hold—occasionally, if not universally.

Reason

For this edition, see Reason, p.62, and Intuition, p.62.

A new fundamental question of metaphysics

We have shown that there must be Being. This resolves what Heidegger has called the fundamental question of metaphysics—Why is there or must there be Being? From the pan-inclusiveness of Being, if we were to identify all beings—obviously we have not—we would have answers to all questions. Thus the fundamental question is—What has Being?

(Of course, there is a sense in which this question is not at all new. It is in part the question of the categories of Being.)

Metaphysics is logic

Metaphysics and logic are one. This is Wittgenstein—from Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus—but not Wittgenstein’s meaning; Wittgenstein identified logic as metaphysics which may or may not be limited; here metaphysics is identified with logic or the greatest possibility.

What Logic is

The development has given an effective and universal intensional concept of logic in contrast to the received extensional and particular conceptions. It shows logic to be simultaneously conceptual and factual—i.e. with an intensional side (necessary but not a priori) and extensional side (empirical and contingent in discovery but possessed of necessity in character).

Principle of sufficient reason

Necessity is the ultimate and first causeless cause of the universe.

Explanation follows—

The fundamental principle necessitates all Being and is thus a principle of sufficient reason (PSR) though not in Leibniz’ sense of classical—e.g. temporal, contiguous, physical—cause as reason. In its inclusivity, the fundamental principle is the principle of sufficient reason.

“The existence of the universe has necessity” means “the non-existence of the universe is not possible”. As seen earlier this means “manifest phases of the universe” are necessary.

Can the universe be eternally manifest? No, for from the void there necessarily comes the power to annihilate the manifest.

Whatever deities there may be, they cannot be other than the universe; and their foundation is in necessity just as is the foundation of the entire universe.

The void is not the quantum vacuum

The void is not the quantum vacuum.

The void is the ultimate ‘material’ though not logical primitive; the quantum vacuum is not primitive; the void is primitive to the quantum vacuum.

All beings realize the ultimate

All beings realize the ultimate.

Explanation—given that the universe is the realization of all possibility, every being—individuals and civilizations in particular—must realize that possibility.

Given a realization there is a greater sentient realization.

Abstract and concrete objects made transparent

FP renders the concepts of abstract and concrete objects transparent.

The notion of the ‘abstract’ more than one meaning. The meaning that is used here is that of a concept of the real in which only those elements that perfectly capture or correspond to an object remain or survive the abstraction; this is the meaning used here. Another meaning is abstract as removed from the real or concrete. This is not the meaning here and is polar opposite to the meaning used here in that the present meaning is perfectly of the real.

From universe as realization of logic, all logical concepts are realized—i.e., concrete objects and abstract objects are both real and realized. Importantly, the distinction is not one of extensionality—e.g. spatiotemporality—or causality: instead, for the abstract these features do not survive the abstraction, each feature to greater or lesser degree. Concrete and abstract, as identified by us, may each have degrees of both; and the range from concrete to abstract is a continuum. The distinction is typically the mode of knowing: perceptual vs free conceptual.

It is in the nature of Being to be experienced

The hypothetical being that affects no experience at all is nonexistent (in the earlier version of this statement only effective nonexistence was asserted).

Note that it is not said that perception creates the world. Rather, the world and experience are one.

From the abstract to the real—How to realize the ultimate

The metaphysics so far is abstract. When joined with (what is valid in) tradition, there results a system that constitutes a whole (‘the perfect metaphysics’) and is the perfect (in the sense of best possible) instrument of universal knowledge and realization.

The metaphysics so far constitutes an abstract system in that while it has been demonstrated it has not been shown how we may connect to it. Let us develop a connection—a way to connect.

The connection begins by recognizing a concrete side as a complement to the abstract. The concrete is common experience, exploration, and human cultures, regarded as pragmatic. What is valid in it is named tradition.

How do or may we realize the ultimate? As noted, the metaphysics so far does not show the how. What we do have is tradition regarded as pragmatic. The pragmatic has many limitations on its own terms (problems of epistemology including the possibility and faithfulness of even a concept of knowledge). Yet we know that the pragmatic has some purchase (FP implies further that it must). Tradition including reason and exploration—is the directly available instrument. In growing from being to being we improve or shed and rebuild. The metaphysics illuminates and guides the pragmatic in the search for ultimates; the pragmatic illustrates and fills out the metaphysics.

These two sides, the abstract metaphysics developed so far and tradition as pragmatic, constitute a pragmatic yet perfect metaphysics that illuminates understanding and realization of the ultimate. They constitute a whole—e.g., of Being in process or becoming.

A perfect metaphysics and epistemology

The whole is a perfect metaphysics—a perfect dual metaphysics with perfection of capture (correspondence) on the abstract side and sufficient and therefore perfect pragmatic capture on the concrete side—and is thus inclusive of a perfect dual epistemology. This system will be called the perfect metaphysics, abbreviated PFM—or the metaphysics, abbreviated TM.

An ultimate abstract-concrete metaphysics has been constructed and is therefore manifestly possible.

The foregoing does not negate the significance of received systems of metaphysics and epistemology; rather it gives them context; and wherever they see our cosmos as the universe and therefore our modern cosmology as a boundary of Being, it renders them local.

Metaphysics of realization

The topic of this section begins as ‘how to realize the ultimate’.

This concern may be variously called ‘science of being’ or (as is done later in this essay) ‘technology of advanced civilization’. However, this is conceptually inadequate because ‘science’ suggests our science, which we now see as infinitesimal compared against all possible metaphysics or science.

We might begin by considering our science. However, the scope of our science is entirely inadequate and its object as the ‘material’ world is misplaced. For (1)the scope of the appropriate ‘discipline’ must be the entire universe and (2) its object must be Being which, we have seen, is effectively and therefore essentially the universal field of experience (FOE) and its realizations.

Therefore a ‘science’ of being would be a metaphysics of consciousness and experience.

It is now apparent that we realize the ultimate. However our question, if we choose to actively engage in realization, is how and in what form this realization may be undertaken. The form is consciousness-experience. The how is the perfect metaphysics.

A science and technology of Being and advanced civilization would seek embodiment of our consciousness in such a way as to propagate out into the universe.

Approaches are developed in The way, p.60.

The thread of the concept of  experience thus far can be stated with enhancements of reason. Let us begin by considering the case of strict substance:

1.     On the strict substance view, essential materialism—the view that matter and only matter is the substance of the universe—is impossible. Therefore SSV is impossible.

2.     Clearly FOE and therefore ESSV are possible interpretations of the world (where the field of experience has features that one may count as material—provided that the material is not essentially non-material). Clearly FOE and ESSV are strong and effective interpretations.

3.     On the perfect metaphysics, the world is not a substance world—the void or any state can be seen as a base state.

4.     There are effectively material worlds.

5.     The essence of the universe, however, is essentially and effectively sentient. This is the interpretation that is consistent with our experience and under which the universe has its greatest realizations as necessitated by PFM.

6.     The foregoing allows effectively material worlds. However, can we say it allows experiential worlds that are disembodied or devoid of body? What we can say is that FOE worlds have form and form has an aspect of matter or body. Therefore, if the claim that there are experiential worlds devoid of body, it is only on an unnecessarily narrow meaning of ‘matter’ or ‘body’.

Cosmology

Cosmology is study of kinds, varieties, and extension of Being. General cosmology is cosmology without further specification.

This section is on some cosmological consequences of the metaphysics.

This version of the essay presents the barest cosmology essential to realization.

Cosmology vs metaphysics

The distinction of metaphysics vs cosmology is a matter of closeness to the fundamental principle, generality, degree of abstraction vs distance from principle, particularity, and concretion. From metaphysics to cosmology is a continuum.

General cosmology

The general cosmology is the fundamental principle—all forms are realized.

The universe has identity; its form and identity have no limits in emergence, extension, variety of beings, kinds of being including cosmos and law, peak and dissolution and magnitude of peak, and value; the cosmoses are limitless in number, magnitude, and variety, including physical law and sentient kind; and are in eternal mergence and emergence with the void and one another. That is, the only limits on concepts for realization are those of logic. The individual inherits this power. In the formulation of Advaita Vedanta, Atman or the individual self is identical to Brahman or the identity of the universe as its ultimate identity. Whatever may be divine or deity, it is not other than Being, e.g. our being.

The metaphysics implies that there are paths to the ultimate.

Cosmology of form and formation

Since all forms are realized, form requires no mechanism. However, a mechanism of formation is possible and therefore necessary. The mechanism of indeterminist-variation and adaptive-determinist-selection, suggested by the theory of evolution, is a creative result of two non-creative processes; it occurs necessarily but not exclusively—single step origins are also necessary. Though no exclusive, it is a likely mechanism for numerical preponderance; the formed phases of the universe are likely to be adapted and adapting systems. The adapting and self-adapting variation-selection mechanism is applicable in all origins of form, particularly cosmoses, life, and ideas; and perhaps emergence, generally.

The foregoing mechanism is mechanistic in that the process is not directed toward the outcome or any outcome. Rather any direction of change is solely in the present. There could be teleologic ‘mechanisms’ but they have not been considered (a) because teleology assumes more and is not necessary and (b) because mechanism shows how origins do not require intervention. However, teleology is not impossible in the universe. It is interesting that our sentience, which we think of as arising in mechanism, is capable of design toward ends. Significant questions are (a) whether this is truly end-oriented—or whether it can be explained by mechanism and (b) whether teleology can arise in a fundamentally mechanistic world.

Cosmology of formation is a basis for the empirically based physical theories of our cosmos. This base is not developed in this version of the essay. Current development is primitive; there are plans for future development.

Space, time, and world

See the section on Constructs, p.30. The development in this version of the essay is not dependent on the concepts of space, time, and world.

THE WAY

Concepts

The concepts are listed in their order of occurrence.

aim of Being, ethics, general means, reason, reflexivity, imagination, criticism, transient, ground, intuition, place, home, world at large, sangha, teacher, original exemplar, inspiration, channel, focus, particular means, intrinsic, Buddhism, Hinduism, Abrahamic religion, yoga, cultural search, Beyul, art, immersive, philosophy, extrinsic, instrumental, sciences, technology, technology of advanced civilization, impediment, block, ignorance, suffering, attachment, anger, aversion, resolution, modern medicine, modern psychology, consciousness studies, nirvana, path, template, everyday template, dedication, affirmation, reflect, tasks, meditation, renewal, community, universal template, pure Being, process, vision retreat, relation, nature, psyche, shared immersion, instrumental transformation, politics and cultural economics, populating the universe, artifact, artifactual Being, universal, transformation

Plan for the division

This division presents a generic and adaptable approach to realization in two parts.

The preliminary sections—‘Aim of Being’ through ‘Blocks and realization’—constitute reasoning and reasons that ground the approach.

See Aim of Being, p.61, through Blocks and resolution, p.66.

The preliminary sections are conveniently summarized in a section ‘Summary—realization integrated’.

See Summary—realization integrated, p.67.

The final section ‘Path’ presents two adaptable templates to realization.

See Path, p.67.

Thus the approach is adaptable to a range of situations (a) by its generic nature and (b) in giving a foundation for the approach.

This practical foundation has an ultimate nature in that it derives from the perfect metaphysics.

Aim of Being

It is given that all beings realize peaks. The sentient-sapient being knows this and is therefore capable of engaging in and enjoying the process.

The Aim of Being is realization of the ultimate (from the immediate); it begins with living ethically (i.e., well and enjoyably) in the immediate which it continues into the ultimate.

The ethics—the concept—is the good without distinction of state, process, or relation. The object or extension of the ethics is not given but in discovery.

Means (general)

The general means are shared reflexive reason (with imagination and experience—and for which criticism is essential, intuition, and tradition). If reason is to be grounded, it should begin in the present, and reflexively employ all abilities and processes.

Reason

Reason is the general means and it is implicit so far—as in establishment of fact and pattern in science and logic. It includes also value, emotion, action, and experiment. It is reflexive—every aspect may interact with every other; particularly imagination and criticism interact (a) in understanding the world and science and (b) in improving imagination, criticism, and method such as may arise. It derives, especially, from tradition. Regarding an absolute foundation for Being and process, what has been seen in the Worldview, p.29, is that there is no need for an external foundation; Being, as seen, needs no other foundation. The beginning, for any being or beings is always where they are—from where they may simultaneously move down to foundation and up to realization and use. However, there is also foundation in the transient and return to ground.

Intuition (and reason)

What is the role of intuition in knowledge and realization? ‘Intuition’ has a number of connotations. One is Immanuel Kant’s conception of intuition as a ‘faculty’ that is inherently attuned to the forms of the real. Another is as an understanding of the forms of the world that does not have (quite) the certainty of proof.

Intuition is apprehension of the form of the real over the detail; it may be iconic and/or symbolic; it need not but may be perfectly certain.

Kant was writing at a time when Euclidean Geometry and Newtonian Mechanics were considered so established that he thought them to be a priori accounts of space, time, and matter. He therefore concluded that Euclidean Geometry and Newtonian Mechanics must be among the precise and formal forms of intuition—for otherwise knowledge of them would be impossible. What we would say today is that those forms only approximately capture both intuition and world. However, that there may be forms or categories of understanding is a deep insight. Here, we have seen that experience, Being, the universe, the void, and logic are among the forms that are known precisely, at least in abstract—they are known formally and in intuition. It follows that the perfect metaphysics is precise in the abstract and precisely what we need in the concrete. The metaphysics grounds us in the universe.

Now clearly not all things are certain but yet we may ‘have’ to act—i.e., we may find action imperative; or we may choose to act under some uncertainty. What degree of uncertainty? Enough, at least, such that we are not crippled by demands for certainty when we are sure enough that perfect certainty is not feasible.

Thus the universal demand for proof, often emphasized in education, is not optimal. This is not a cy to abandon proof. Rather, proof—what is necessary in formal knowledge—and intuition may reinforce each other.

Also note that formal proof is linguistic (in terms of signs) and thus for any definite system an at most a countable number of assertions—true or false. This does not imply that the number of assertions is countable—for the number of systems is not necessarily countable. However, a finite being will have access only to a finite number of systems in a finite time.

There are domains, e.g. some divisions, where formal symbols adequately capture their object for at least pragmatic purposes. This is not true for what is significant in either all existential concerns or the entire real.

That is, intuition may be essential to understanding the universe.

In this essay, some powerful examples are seen.

It is important that intuition and formal understanding are not in opposition but mutually reinforcing. However, some issues are pertinent—

1.      Are there ways of overcoming the above limitation of formal understanding?

2.      Are there further ways other than establishing perfectly known objects in the abstract and proof in symbols that may make intuition certain?

3.      Formal understanding tends to be piecewise and subject to the foundational dichotomy of infinite regress or unfounded premises. Intuitive understanding tends to be whole but without foundation. In this essay these two issues are simultaneously resolved in the perfect metaphysics. How, and to what extent, may these resolutions be furthered in special contexts—for example the specialization of the modern academic disciplines? Are there other approaches?

4.      How shall or ought intuition, formal understanding, and their interaction play out in the future of Being—particularly for humankind and particularly in the realization of the ultimate? To what extent may intuition be formalized as in the metaphysics? To what extent may we have intuition of the formal, as we do for language?

Tradition

Tradition, naturally subject to reason, is the other general means. It is drawn from the history of culture (see Resources, p.72).

In the traditions the following are important and available, place, home, world at large, sangha (community of shared aspiration), teacher and original exemplar (as inspiration, channel, and focus).

Some particular means

Means and process are intrinsic—of Being—and instrumental—of the world. These are not two but one—woven together in moving from the immediate to the ultimate; they straddle the immediate and the ultimate. Sources for the means are tradition and reflexive reason (including action). If we relinquish its traditional context and connotations, the means may be named Yoga—the bridging of the immediate and the ultimate. The term ‘yoga-meditation’ is considered so as to emphasize the integration of the intrinsic and the instrumental.

Regarding particular means, the following is representative and suggestive rather than complete or prescriptive. The aim is for individuals and civilizations to find The Way—their way, perhaps—rather than to be satisfied that some given prescription is The Way.

The intrinsic and the extrinsic straddle the immediate and the ultimate and their processes and two way transactions. The intrinsic and extrinsic are not distinct but should be emphasized because (a) it helps comprehensiveness and (b) some cultures emphasize one or other.

Intrinsic

On the intrinsic side—the side of identity—we find religion and various catalysts of transformation of identity and realization of the universe. The reader ought to read, analyze, perhaps experience, and choose. The choice may be plural, eclectic, and experimental. We mention (a) Buddhism for its way of life and Hinduism for its views of the ultimate (taken as suggestive)—and the Abrahamic religions for inspiration, beauty, and some of their ethics, (b) Yoga interpreted generally as foundation for meditation and meditation, vipasana (analytic) and shamatha (calm abiding), in experimental interaction and search for centering and the ultimate-in-this-life and the route to the ultimate, (c) other cultural search and travel, especially to cultures that balance one’s own or the so far experienced, (d) Beyul—travel to depth of nature as catalytic to the ultimate within and without.

Meaning in art—appreciation and creation—is significant. The intrinsic approach to the sciences (below) is immersive. Philosophy, especially western philosophy, straddles the intrinsic and the instrumental.

Instrumental

On the extrinsic or instrumental side—roughly, ‘of the world’—are the external realms of nature (and the sciences—in our cosmos the physical, the biological, and the human and psychological), technology, and exploration. The sciences include the natural and social—sociology, economics, and political science and philosophy. The technology of advanced civilization may be explored as an aspect of populating the universe.

Also see the Resources, p.72.

Meditation and intuition

Readers may substitute a meditation from their experience. Imagine being at a mountain lake surrounded on three sides by a cirque dusted with recent snow. The approach to the lake is via a difficult ravine—the outlet. Imagine gazing at the lake and the cirque. Tomorrow we will climb and walk the cirque, navigating unstable boulders, occasionally climbing to the ridge. One is at peace; and contemplation of the lake diffuses outward toward the universe. One is centered in ‘Being’. The centering merges with the picture of the universe revealed in the perfect metaphysics.

At home one may recreate that centering via meditation. We would like to bring that attitude toward everyday action and interaction with the world and other persons. We do not attain perfection, yet there are ways that have promise—e.g., the ways of Buddhism, Christianity, and Krishnamurty. These are just a sampling. One can explore and experiment with personal enhancements. We bring this to the world. This is the process of ‘meditation in action’. It is a process because we do not wait for perfection to act toward realization. We act, practice, and experiment.

The aim is simultaneous action and self-correction, perhaps with sharing in a community. The aim is for attitude to converge in an intuition of perfect Being and process. This is meditative intuition. As long as not realized in the present, it remains dual aim.

Its realization necessarily occurs, even if it seems remote. To consciously and intelligently approach makes it more accessible.

Once achieved, it is not permanent. Still it is achieved again. The cycle has endless variations and is ever fresh. One works with pain as it arises. The ever fresh process is eternal.

Blocks and resolution

The way to the ultimate is via shared discovery (ideas) and realization (resources)—and it is in sharing, ideas (psyche), and action that blocks arise.

It is critical to effective realization that process and resources be reasonably balanced (‘optimally allocated’) between resolving blocks and the way.

Impediments are blocks to effective reason.

Some significant examples are ignorance including mass opinion and its emergence, suffering due to ignorance, inadequate appreciation of and over concern with impediments, attachment and desire, anger, and aversion and resentments.

Pain and suffering are unavoidable and so, where possible, should be sufficiently alleviated to promote process which in turn helps alleviate suffering. Efficient realization is must be a balance of resolution of blocks and engagement in realization—for meaning and efficiency.

We ought to seek sufficient alleviation of pain and suffering but not to pretend that alleviation is always possible. Modern medicine, modern psychology, and consciousness studies complement earlier tradition.

Nirvana is not pure bliss but seeking realization even in adversity, dual with overcoming adversity as part of realization. It is integration of overcoming as part of the process of realization.

Summary—realization integrated

It is given that all beings realize peaks. The sentient-sapient being knows this and is therefore capable of engaging in and enjoying the process.

The Aim of Being is realization of the ultimate (from the immediate); it begins with living ethically (i.e., well and enjoyably) in the immediate which it continues into the ultimate.

The general means are shared reflexive reason (with imagination and experience—and for which criticism is essential, intuition, and tradition). If reason is to be grounded, it should begin in the present, and reflexively employ all abilities and processes.

Means and process are intrinsic—of Being—and instrumental—of the world. These are not two but one—woven together in moving from the immediate to the ultimate; they straddle the immediate and the ultimate. Sources for the means are tradition and reflexive reason (including action). If we relinquish its traditional context and connotations, the means may be named Yoga—the bridging of the immediate and the ultimate. The term ‘yoga-meditation’ is considered so as to emphasize the integration of the intrinsic and the instrumental.

The way to the ultimate is via shared discovery (ideas) and realization (resources)—and it is in sharing, ideas (psyche), and action that blocks arise.

It is critical to effective realization that process and resources be reasonably balanced (‘optimally allocated’) between resolving blocks and the way.

Nirvana is not pure bliss but seeking realization even in adversity, dual with overcoming adversity as part of realization. It is integration of overcoming as part of the process of realization.

Path

The path is presented as two templates—an everyday and a universal template that constitute a program of realization. The templates are adaptable to individuals, groups, and situations.

The Everyday template, p.68; is adaptable to the needs of work or freedom from work; to home and world; choice of routine; and dedication and affirmation.

The Universal template, p.70, is adaptable to choice of intrinsic and instrumental foci, and may guide the foci of individuals, society, and civilization.

The templates in the extended versions of the essay have further details and links. See the Resources, p.72.

Everyday template

Here is a brief adaptable everyday template for home and world. An outline precedes the template.

The outline

1.     Rise before the sun—dedication to The Way; affirmation of the aim.

2.     Review-meditate—reflect—on realization, priorities, and means.

3.     Realization—work; relationships; ideas and action—yoga-meditation in action.

4.     Tasks—daily, long term. Meals.

5.     Experimental yoga—with meditation—in nature. Posture.

6.     Exerciseaerobic—in nature—photography—explore.

7.     Evening—rest—renewal—planning and review—realization—community.

The template

1.      Rise before the sun

Dedication to The Way. Affirmation of the aim.

Dedication (W Wilson). 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 and intrinsic ways in the dimensions and elements of the real).

Explanation of dedication. The Way of Being is living in the immediate and ultimate as one. The means are shared discovery and realization—and it is in the means that blocks may arise. Therefore some resources are dedicated to overcoming—but realization is not deferred; rather overcoming and realizing are and should be continuous. Realizing the ultimate in this world and beyond is intrinsic and instrumental—the intrinsic is the Being of individuals and civilization in this world, emerging into the universal; and the instrumental begins with science and technology in this world emerging into universal civilization.

Shared affirmation (A Gupta)—recognition and declaration of the identity of all Being. The pure unlimited consciousness that is all Being is ultimate reality. That is the universe—its life and breath—that am I. I am and embody the self-transcending universe that is all Being and has no other.

2.      Review-meditate

Reflect—on realization, priorities, and means. The day and life – the ultimate and the immediate. For the here-how: fortitude < > understanding and intelligence < > sharing < > action.

3.      Realization

Work; relationships; ideas and action—yoga-meditation in action.

Develop The Way (see Resources, p.72, > document and database design: current plans); network; shared action; days for engagement, days for renewal.

4.      Tasks

Daily, long term. Meals.

5.      Experimental yoga

With meditation—in nature. Posture.

Experimental meditation—part of yoga: analytic / contemplative, for daily action, and the ultimate. Analytic and intuitive exploration of Being and identity with the universe. Meditation as Being and vision (see dreams in item 7).

6.      Exercise

Aerobic—in nature—photography—explore.

7.      Evening

Rest—renewal—planning and review—realization—community.

Tasks, preparation and dedication of the next day and the future. Sleep early. Dreams as Being, vision, and inspiration.

Universal template

Here is a brief adaptable universal template—it meshes with the everyday template. An outline precedes the template.

The outline

     Action            Dimension—Detail

1.     Being             Pure Being, community—Everyday process

2.     Ideas             Relation, knowing—Reason; art

3.     Becoming      Nature with psyche—Nature as ground: Beyul

4.     Becoming      Civilization and society—Shared immersion

5.     Becoming      Artifact—Artifactual Being as Being (realized) and as adjunct

6.     Becoming      Universal, unknown—Transformation aimed at the universal

7.     Being             Universal—Being in the universal.

The template

ACTION

DIMENSION

DETAIL

1.      BEING

Pure Being, community

Everyday process

Developing The Way—in the world, as part of The Way; vision retreat.

2.      IDEAS

Relation, knowing

Reason; art

3.      BECOMING

Nature with psyche

Nature as ground: Beyul

See Resources, p.72 > Beyul.

4.      BECOMING

Civilization and society

Shared immersion

Instrumental transformationpolitics and cultural economics, populating the universe.

See Resources, p.72 > shared immersion and politics and cultural economics.html.

5.      BECOMING

Artifact

Artifactual Being as Being (realized) and as adjunct

See Resources, p.72 > artifactual being.

6.      BECOMING

Universal, unknown

Transformation aimed at the universal

The universal includes elements of items 1 – 5.

For transformation see Resources, p.72 > catalytic transformation and Resources, p.72 > ways.

7.      BEING

Universal

Being in the universal

The image of the universal in yoga, meditation, living, nature, and civilization.

The perfect metaphysics and its intuition as absolute theory and image of the universal.

Development of The Way

The two templates provide a base for development and realization.

See the Resources, p. 72, for priorities for the way.html.

The future

Concepts

what is given, what remains

What is given and what remains

What is given is an ultimate vision of the universe and path of realization with templates.

What remains is to live and improve the vision and The Way.

Some means and directions are discussed in the essay. Some of these and further thoughts are taken up in the next division on resources.

RESOURCES

Introduction

The resources are generally for development of the way and for readers. Readers may find the starred sections especially useful.

Purpose of these resources

These are resources for The Way of Being and its newer version; these originated in Journey in Being-2003.html.

The newer version above is destined to replace The Way of Being.

The resources are particularly for this essay and its print version.

Source; plan; updating

The resources are updated in the way-outline.html; the updates are planned to be imported here.

General reading and experience*

This section is derived from my process. Because readers’ appetites and inclinations will differ widely, this section is suggestive.

1.      Read, reflect, experience, and write broadly, deeply, and reflexively.

One begins with appetite. The process leads to further thoughts for reading etc. Reflection on what one is doing is crucial. I frequently step back and think “what do I need to read or experience”, “how shall I synthesize and write my thoughts”, “what have I learned that may be useful in the process”. One is asking meta-questions—if there is a question, one is asking “what is the meaning of this question”, “how may I answer it”, “how do others approach such matters”, “are there general principles” and so on.

2.      Learn from but deeply question our culture—so as to overcome its limitations.

I have learned much from our culture. It is important to understand its main paradigms, learn from its sources (texts, universities) but also to question what it presents as most obvious and rational. I hold that science is aesthetically and intellectually wonderful, useful, and applicable within the empirical domain. Yet, by questioning, I realized that that domain is infinitesimal

3.      Learn from the realms of nature, psyche, society-civilization-culture, and the universal-unknown.

My learning is also from experience in culture but also in nature, the nature of mind, and reflecting the unknown. I have had occupations from university professor, to mental health, to the restaurant business. I have traveled widely in different cultures and in nature. My travels are not for simple pleasure alone—but I have looked for what I can learn about the world.

4.      The process may be without end. The way is always at a new beginning. I have thought many times “I have found it”, only to find that there is more.

5.      Here are some thinkers and sources I have found particularly useful (for extensive lists see the next item and subsequent sections).

Some thinkers on metaphysics and Being that stand out are Plato (The Sophist—“the definition of being is power”), Wittgenstein (Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus—on logic as metaphysics), Heidegger (Being and Time—on the fundamental nature of being), and Adi Samkara (the Indian philosopher of Advaita Vedanta—in A Sourcebook in Indian Philosophy, Charles Moore, editors—for the identity of Atman and Brahman or the individual and ultimate selves and, interestingly—for he was writing in the eighth century CE, what is essentially the Cartesian cogito argument).

I have learned much from John Searle on consciousness (The Rediscovery of Mind, 1992); John Hick on religion (especially his book—The Fifth Dimension, 1999); Pema Chödrön’s How to Meditate, 2013; Chagdud Tulku’s Gates to Buddhist Practice, 2001, for practice of ‘Being’ and vipasana meditation; and, finally, Ian Baker’s Heart of the World, 2004, for Beyul—regarding nature travel, identity, and spirit.

6.      My reading has been extensive. It has been in popular, scholarly, and original literature. If you are interested in my reading and experience here are some sources.

Bibliographies. General bibliography.

Journey (a directory devoted to travel, mostly in nature). Travel journals (not organized).

The following sections.

Related web resources

The Way of Being Website*

         essays.html—current and past editions; and for archive, history of western philosophy, bibliographies and more

         design.html

For the path templates*

         document and database design: current plans

         Beyul

         shared immersion—search for the term ‘immersion’ in the browser

         politics and cultural economics.html

         artifactual being—search for the terms ‘artifact’ and ‘artifactual being’

         catalytic transformation

         ways

For The Way*

         system of human knowledge and action.html—for knowledge: human cultural traditions, modified in view of the perfect metaphysics

         main influences.html—influences and sources

         document and database design.html—resources and plans

         priorities for the way.html

The concepts

         concepts.html—for The Way

         canonical dilemmas.html—a systematic approach to methodological skepticism

         doubt and reason.html

         argument.html

         possibility.html—on logic and possibility

Some topics amplified in the resources

These are important in themselves though not central to this essay where they are skimmed or not touched.

         Abstract objects

         Possibility, necessity, logic, and reason

         The canonical dilemmas attempt to found a worldview that begins with doubt and what is beyond doubt. Imagination is essential but also subject to doubt. Some essential aspects of the dilemmas follow—from methodological skepticism through the issue of projection from the empirical. A skeptical approach to Being and experience may well begin with Descartes’ cogito argument from which the conclusion is, essentially, there is Being. To build as much metaphysics (knowledge) as we can from skepticism and imagination, skepticism then becomes methodological—i.e., (1) we cover the range of Being as best we can, dealing with emergent issues, e.g. self, body, world, other minds, their relationships – destinies and necessities (or otherwise), (2) one issue is that of skepticism itself—what do and can we learn of both Being and method from skepticism applied to our ‘normal’ experience and view of the world? For example while there is experience and Being are these necessary (a source of the fundamental principle)? Is there a self, a world, and other minds? These can of course be simply used as labels for regions in the field of experience. But are they real and what is their destiny? We might say—reality of the self is the sense of self which distinguishes one’s experience, one’s body, and the world. One might then argue that symmetry arguments reasonably imply that the apparent beings in our worlds have minds. However that is not a necessary argument—the symmetry argument is not conclusive because perfect symmetry does not obtain and even apparent perfect symmetry does not imply actual perfect symmetry and even perfect symmetry would not imply other minds. Thus there seems to be no necessary argument that there are other minds. So there are some options over and above the existence of other minds—(1) even if the ‘other minds’ interpretation has purchase, perhaps there are none; (2) even if the other minds interpretation has purchase, perhaps we are really part of a FOE which may be seen as one mind which at the present and here and now has bright centers and dim to zero value ones called the inert environment, and (3) in destiny in our cosmos and beyond, these minds and environments that may be interpreted as one become dynamically as one. Now of course that imaginative and not proof. However, it is careful methodological skepticism that leads to the imaginative though not inconsistent interpretation—and the perfect metaphysics shows that it must have purchase.

Now for a brief catalog of applications of methodological skepticism.

         Metaphysical skepticism; kinds of argument from skepticism—self reference (solipsism), necessary (general vs our world) – from nothing and from symmetry, probable – from adaptation and from symmetry and stability (general vs our world).

         Substance vs Being (and related concepts—sameness, difference, absence, experience, beings, universe, possibility, necessity, logic, science, and Logic).

         The cogito argument—doubt exists.

         Solipsism vs SSV, ESSV, FOE. What is necessary, what is necessary in our world, what is stable and probable.

         The empirical, inference – projection (law, cause, Russell’s teapot, the possibility that the world was created five minutes ago and similar alternate ‘realities’); necessity (general, our world), the stable and the probable.

         Free will.

         World as experience.

         How the intension (nature) and extension (extent) of human knowledge is modified and rewritten by the metaphysics of the essay.

         Metaphysics as Logic.

         Original cause and necessity rather than ‘material’ cause. Necessity vs contingency or accident.

         Conventional dimensions of out world—psyche, nature (material and living), society and civilization, and universal – unknown, or PNSU.

Current versions of the essay

         the way-pocket manual.html—main and portable version

         the way-template.html—document template

         for other current and older versions see the site

Planning the essay

General

         document and database design.html—document and site plan

The outline version

         Minimize resources and planning.

         An outline can be derived from the versions above.

         However, the purpose of this outline is to get at the essence.

Remaining work for this version

“In the world.”

Continue to

         Review plans for the document in view of emerging insight and realization.

         Enter ideas and comments; especially Some topics amplified in the resources.

         Eliminate excess redundancy and repetition.

         Edit, chisel, and reduce content and formatting. Editing priorities are The Way, p.60 > Worldview, p.29 > Introduction, p.18 > remaining material. It is a priority to have a brief version of the introduction. Levels of editing are:

         The main material in the narrative, style Central.

         Academic and Main content.

         Secondary material—Indigo font.

         Test links, rectify faulty ones.

And

         Give visual relief to the main ideas from the point of view of realization (the metaphysics is already given prominence)—make an outline for The Way (a) emphasizes only essentials and (b) differentiates ideas-discovery from action-realization.

         Arrange for the following, as far as possible by associating styles with current content and making tables of contents that include links to those styles.

Particularly

         Identify what are to be main points—top ® approach.

         Star the crucial points.

Two points on Logic to refine

         The Block View (carefully define it) and relate it to relative Logic.

         The idea of Logic also as purely empirical deriving from the fact that knowledge and experience are relations between an experiencer and the experienced. That is, since Being is essentially relational (interaction-al) logic is purely empirical just as knowledge of the world is empirical on a view of Being as made of objects whose Being is independent of be-ing known.

Introduce essential reflections on Heidegger’s Being and Time

         Heidegger asserts with Aristotle the importance of Being over substance. This means that the foundation of Being is not to be sought in some other ‘thing’. That is, Being has already been singled out as that which is so immediate as to require no foundation; but is self founding (one might argue that experience as consciousness-in-its-‘pure’-attitudinal-and-active-modes is fundamental or perhaps that essentially Being and experience are identical or at least equivalent at some degree of abstraction that loses nothing essential.

         He argues that over 2000 years of substance thought (the metaphysic of presence), the question of Being has forgotten and therefore philosophy has lost its way (being a / the foundational discipline while substance is a high level concept and definitionally incapable of founding the universe of all Being).

         That the question of the meaning of Being is paramount. Here his thought diverges from mind, though not substantially. Whereas he sees the essence of Being as what fundamental about those to whom the world is intelligible, I see Being as the primitive simple of the world. But I would not minimize the object of Heidegger’s meaning—and I place it as a kind of Being to be discovered and explored. Thus in this regard I do not differ much from Heidegger.

         The means of enquiring into the meaning of Being is analysis of that which can enquire into the meaning of Being—which is nothing other than human being in the aspect of its being-in-the-world, i.e. Dasein whose Being includes that it finds itself in the world but not as founded in the world (or not) but whose character is pre-reflective (here I depart for it the pre-reflective is significant but not to be fundamentally distinguished from the reflective).

So some essential questions regarding Heidegger’s thought for this work are

         Can Heidegger’s thought contribute to the foundations of the metaphysics and its clarification? Would that contribution lie in the relation of Being and experience?

         How can Heidegger’s thought contribute to the quality and authenticity of our Being while we engage in the path described in the work?

Previews—pathways

The paragraphs in styles Central, Main, and Academic constitute a general outline or overview. Other overviews to consider are—

1.      General—for general readers, style Central.

2.      Academic—styles Central and Academic; style Main may be of interest.

3.      For realization—styles Central and Main; style Academic will enhance realization and its efficiency.

The foregoing is currently realized with one overview—a table of contents with style TOC 3 linked to style Central and TOC 4 linked to Academic and Main. The general reader is directed to TOC 3 content (larger black font). The other readers are directed to TOC 3 and TOC 4 content (smaller indigo font). Academic readers would omit division The Way. Those interested primarily in realization would omit division Worldview.

Plan for print and published versions

A print version can be derived from this web essay. Further needs include:

         An index with page number references.

Especially for published print versions.

         Eliminate the resources section (except perhaps to summarize general reading and experience).

         So as to eliminate the need for external links provide the address to resources.html—‘for resources enter the following to your browser address bar http://www.horizons-2000.org/resources.html. Future external links to the main text may be dealt with in the same way.

INDEX

The links below are to definitions or main occurrences.

Abrahamic religion, absolute determinism, absolute indeterminism, abstract object, action, affirmation, aim of Being, anger, art, artifact, artifactual Being, Atman, attachment, attitude, attitudinal, aversion, being, Being, Beyul, block, block view, Brahman, Buddhism, cause, channel, civilization (our civilization, universal civilization), community, concept, concrete object, consciousness studies, construct, contingent, continuum, cosmology, cosmos, creative, creator, criticism, cultural search, culture, dedication, determinism, difference, dimension discovery, duration, ecstasy, effectively nonexistent, ethics, everyday template, exist, existential principle, experience, extended standard secular worldview (ESSV), extension, extrinsic, fact, factual consistency, field of experience, world as, focus, form, formation, free conception, free will, fundamental principle of metaphysics, general cosmology, general means, ground, Hinduism, home, hypothesis, ideas, identity, ignorance, imagination, immediate, immersive, impediment, individual, inspiration, instrumental, instrumental transformation, intrinsic, intuition, isolated, limitless, logic, Logic, logical possibility, logical precursor, mathematical system, meaning, means, measure of Being, mechanism, meditation, metaphysics, modern medicine, modern psychology, multiple histories, natural law, nature, necessary, necessity, nirvana, non-classical cause, nonexistent, object, one Being, original exemplar, pain, particular means, path, perceptual conception, philosophy, place of Being, place of meaning, place, PNSU, politics and cultural economics, populating the universe, possible worlds, power, pragmatic, primal culture, primitives, process, psyche, pure Being, pure consciousness, real possibility, realization, reason, reflect, reflexivity, relation, renewal, resolution, sameness, sangha, satisfactory explanation, science, sciences, secular paradigm, selection, sentient possibility, shared immersion, space, spacetime, spatial extension, standard secular worldview (SSV), suffering, tasks, teacher, technology, technology of advanced civilization, teleology, template, the perfect metaphysics, the void, time, tradition, transformation, transient, transsecular paradigm, ultimate, universal, universal law, universal template, universe, variation, vehicles, vision retreat, Way of Being, what is given, what remains, what shall we do, world, world as field of experience, world at large, worldview, yoga.